Expansion Postponed until May, 2015.
Dear Members and Customers,
Due to higher than expected construction bids and increased requirements from the city, the expansion plans have been altered and delayed. The initial expansion plans included a second story, but due to significantly higher than anticipated steel costs and more stringent fire code requirements, the architect has modified the Expansion plans to include only one story. We have submitted the new plans to several contractors and are still waiting to hear back from many of them.
This delay will allow us to receive additional and more economically feasible bids. The previous bids received for a two story expansion would have required the co-op to borrow more than twice the amount originally budgeted, thereby placing a significant financial strain on the co-op.
By postponing the expansion, we will allow ourselves more time to generate additional
funds for our needed improvements, thereby reducing the amount we need to borrow and placing less financial risk on the co-op. Fundraising efforts will continue. Additionally, by postponing the expansion until May, we will bypass our busy season until the slower summer months, creating less inconvenience for our members and other customers.
In summary, we still plan on expanding the store. We expect to add an additional 800 square feet off the rear of the building. Once that portion of the expansion is completed, our parking lot will be reconfigured so that rainwater will flow away from the building instead of toward it. The new parking lot will also eliminate the rear steps and provide an ADA, handicap accessible entrance.
The interior expansion plans will include improved check-out lanes, a new larger walk-in cooler, a new produce cooler, a new freezer, and an expanded line of products. We also plan on installing a rooftop garden that will provide herbs and produce for the store.
Our final phase of the expansion will include creating a new front entrance to the store, which will be funded by utilizing City of Kent’s Facade Improvement Program.
Kent Natural Foods Co-op is doing well and is happy at our current location. We are excited about the expansion and we greatly appreciate all of your continued support.