No walls moved and no shelves went up, but last week was a big week for your co-op’s expansion despite the lack of physical building. Common Ground got final approval on all primary lender loans for the expansion as of late last Friday. This is a day we’ve been working up to for over a year – congratulations to all of us, the expansion is now fully funded! At the same time, our final expansion drawings were being evaluated by the City of Urbana and we got back their review saying there are only a few small changes needed. Changes are par for the course in this process; it is great news that only some minor changes to our drawings are needed before we can get our permit to build.
This week will be another busy week behind the scenes at Common Ground:
- Our architect firm, Fresh Arc, will be getting all the changes into our drawings and getting those back to our general contractor this week to be re-submitted.
- All of the co-op’s payments for expansion items and work will be going through a title company that will track all spending. I’ll be finalizing the payment plan with them this week so we are ready to pay for equipment and construction.
Keep your fingers crossed – if all goes well we’ll start actual construction late in the week of April 23rd!
Construction will start in two areas of the store at once. We’ll be building out the upstairs kitchen space as well as the entire store space to the north of Common Ground’s current space. This is Phase 1 of the construction process, and will happen almost entirely out of sight. We expect it to take 7-8 weeks. By the end of this phase, your deli staff will be moving upstairs into their brand new kitchen, but the deli area in the store will stay the same until the rest of the construction is complete. The deli team will begin testing new recipes at that time for the expanded store – look for taste-testing opportunities to start being posted on our Facebook and Twitter in just a few short months!