By the time you read this, we’ll be less than two weeks away from finalizing our primary lender loans for Common Ground’s expansion – the very last step before we can throw ourselves headlong into the construction of our fabulous expanded store space. As you probably know, we have a printed expansion newsletter in the store that we just updated in March. The newsletter outlines all the fabulous new departments and offerings the expansion will make possible, with a map of the expanded store included. If you have not yet picked one up, you can do so at the register next time you come by your co-op; it’s full of fun details about your expanding store.
Thank you again to everyone who helped to make the second push of the owner loan campaign such an amazing success. Together, we raised $1 million in owner loans! After we accomplished this amazing feat, we began asking around and found out that there are only a handful of other co-ops who have met this lofty owner loan goal, and all were far larger co-ops than Common Ground – proof again that there is something very special happening in C-U. The level of support Common Ground’s owners give to their co-op is just off the charts, and it’s the key reason we’ve been able to accomplish so much in just three and a half short years since our first expansion to Lincoln Square in 2008.
We had to get all the owner loan checks in the bank before our primary fund lender, Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, could finalize their part of our expansion funding with us. And then, of course, these things always take longer than planned. Right now the planned final date for the primary lending financing is April 13th – keep your fingers crossed! If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be building as soon as Monday, April 16th! Our general contractor and fellow co-op owner, Tim Gibbs, and his team are more than ready to get started, as I think we all are. We’re ready to see our new store unfold!
The construction phase is planned to take a little over five months, meaning the store will be complete this fall. But as this is a “phased expansion” -meaning we’ll still be open at the same location as all this construction and moving is happening- you’ll see the store start changing right before your eyes long before the final completion date. More details on that coming soon.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your hard work to make Common Ground’s 2012 expansion happen. From making an owner loan (or even two or three!) to spreading the word and bringing in new friends to your co-op, your commitment to your co-op and our community inspires me over and over again.
To the next phase of Common Ground’s fabulous success!