When I moved from Urbana to Champaign, perhaps the biggest thing I knew I would miss was quick access to Common Ground Co-op for healthier and more sustainable grocery options. I was so overjoyed when they announced a new Champaign location, but now, it appears as though they have been delayed once again.
If this means the new Common Ground location in Champaign will be awesome-upon-arrival, however, I can totally understand the delay and wish them the best. For all the info, including a video and a loosely revised timeline of construction, check out the full press release below:
We have an important update on our Champaign store project that we would like to share.
At our January board meeting, General Manager Satina Braswell presented a revised project timeline for review, which was approved unanimously. The new timeline includes the following milestones:
September 2016: we will relaunch our owner loan campaign, with a goal of raising $1.5 million total.
January 2017: we will start construction.
Summer of 2017: opening of the new Champaign store!
This revised timeline comes in response to staff concerns about operational readiness. As we plan the expansion to a second location, we've kept three critical questions in mind. Can we afford this? Is there enough local demand? Is our staff ready? The answer to the first two has always been a resounding yes but, as time for opening the Champaign store came closer and closer, the staff realized they needed more time to work on internal systems and operations for the project to be done right and in a way that strengthens the Urbana store at the same time.
Satina has spent the last couple of weeks working through the new timeline with our project manager, landlord, design team, contractor, owner loan campaign manager, and primary lender. They remain as committed to the project as we are. Satina's top priority right now is to spend time working through staff concerns and making improvements in our operations, so that all staff are ready to serve our owners and both cities with excellence.
You may have questions about this news, and we welcome those conversations. Click the image below for a brief video from Satina answering common questions. Board members will also be available to answer your questions at the Urbana location in the classroom on Saturday, February 13 from 10 AM to noon, as they are every second Saturday of the month, or you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay up to date on our progress, you can also follow our expansion blog at http://commonground.coop/get-the-scoop/blog/tags/expansion, where we will be posting regular updates about what is going on to prepare for the Champaign store and how you can get involved.
General Manager Satina Braswell and the
Common Ground Food Co-op Board of Directors