From the press release:
COMMON GROUND FOOD CO-OP ANNOUNCES MOVING FORWARD WITH CHAMPAIGN LOCATION
Common Ground Food Co-op will move forward with formal lease negotiations for undisclosed central Champaign location for their second retail location and plans to begin construction on the store by summer of 2015.
CGFC General Manager, Jacqueline Hannah, presented over a year’s worth of feasibility research on the potential second retail location project last Monday night at the monthly CGFC Board of Directors meeting. The research encompassed multiple professional market studies, a full financial pro forma, and internal organizational readiness measures. CGFC Board Chair, Todd Sweet, states, “After more than a year of research and discussion, the GM enthusiastically recommended we move forward with the next phase of the project, which is to locate and secure a site in Champaign. The Board unanimously supported this direction and feels strongly that a second store will enable greater achievement of our over 5300 owners’ goals for their cooperative.”
While the specific site(s) that will be negotiated for cannot yet be released publicly, CGFC has announced to its owners that it hopes to have a lease and be able to announce the exact location to its owners at their fall meeting of owners on Saturday, September 20th, but has a definite goal of attaining a lease and announcing the exact location before the end of 2014.
“I am excited to have found that CGFC is ready fiscally and internally to finally build the Champaign store that our owners have been asking for since we moved to Lincoln Square in 2008, and that the market studies show there is ample demand for the local farm foods and organic foods we bring to the community to support it,” says Hannah. “We are excited to be able bring another CGFC location to C-U that will serve not only as a source of great food, but also of food education, living wage jobs, and community gathering space – all the things that forward the goals of CGFC’s owners for our great cities.”
The Champaign location will be similar in size to the Urbana location with a full service deli, salad bar, large local and organic produce section, and community classroom, but Hannah says to look for new innovations as well. “We are looking forward to a dynamic input process with our owners and our future neighbors to find out what is important to them to see at the Champaign location. We definitely want to take our environmental stewardship to the next level with this new location and are actively researching what might be possible.”
CGFC expects to begin construction in the summer of 2015 and open the Champaign store, which will be similar in size to their Urbana location, in late 2015.