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Second Store Update


This month I hope to help you
understand and inform you of the process the Co-op is going through to
get to the actual building stage of the second retail store. The Co-op
is leasing the retail space intended for the second retail site from a
developer—this is an added layer that we have not had to work with in
previous expansions. We are working in conjunction with the developer
and the condominium association of Metropolitan Place II to achieve
agreeable solutions for each stakeholder. This is a different process
than when the Co-op relocated from 1202 Williamson in 1999 where the
Co-op played the role of developer and there were fewer players to
coordinate. The punchline is that this is a complicated process and has
taken longer than originally anticipated. We are roughly two months
from where we had hoped to be when the Letter of Intent was signed.



City approval and securing permits

In early October, a PUD-SIP (Planned Unit Development Specific
Implementation Plan) minor alternations plan was submitted to City for
approval. This approval is generally a 10 to 14 day process. Once that
approval is granted, a foundation/early start permit will be requested
from the City to begin exterior concrete work. After that, an
additional building permit is needed for the interior construction
phase of the project.



The
building permit is issued based on a complete set of plans presented to
the City for review—this set will include electrical, plumbing, HVAC
(heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), reflective ceiling, and
finishes. These plans are similar to constructing a layered cake—each
individual plan makes up one layer and once all the plans are
stacked—voilá, we have a set of plans to present to the City. The
development and design plan work needed to get to the City approval
stage to obtain a building permit has taken several months to
accomplish.



Three units

The Co-op has leased three separate units in the Metropolitan Place II
facility. The largest unit is the retail space—roughly 12,400 square
feet. This unit will house the grocery store operations, front end
office, and seating area. In addition to this retail space, offices
will be located in the basement of the facility directly under the rear
portion of the grocery retail. Finally, the Co-op has also secured an
additional first floor retail space—roughly 4,000 square feet. This
space is slated for sub-lease to a complimentary business. The Co-op
will be working with a listing agent to secure a tenant for the space.



At
this point, we are expecting that construction will begin this month,
and progress throughout December, January, and February. Assuming
things go according to plan the store is scheduled to open in late
March.



The Co-op entering into the build process after the
majority of the building has been built has been a challenge. To design
an efficient retail space using green building practices with limited
funds has not been easy. I greatly appreciate the efforts the developer
and the condominium association are making to meet our needs.