…much remains to be done to make a late 2018 opening possible.
Nourish Community Market (Nourish) announced to its member-owners at their annual meeting on Oct. 17 that their community-owned natural grocery store will be located in the Westerly Creek Village area of Aurora, across the street from the Stanley Marketplace.
The 10,000-square-foot co-op will be located on the ground floor of a new mixed-use development called The Heights at Westerly Creek, located at 2352 Dallas St. in Aurora. The new development project will include for-sale condos above the co-op and other retail outlets.
In order to meet lease contingencies for the brand-new space, Nourish will have to raise at least $1.2 million before going to lenders. To achieve that goal, the co-op will seek equity from its 757 members—and it aims to nearly double its current membership, bringing it up to 1,500 members by spring 2017. A one-time equity payment of $200 is required to become a member-owner.
Kim Soko Schaefer, project manager for Nourish, says, “Now that we have a location, we really are focused on getting those member-owners in place as soon as we can. After that happens, we can begin the capital campaign, which will take place in the spring or, if necessary because we don’t have the members, in the fall.”
At the meeting, members, most of whom live in Stapleton and Park Hill, were excited about the location for the market but concerned about several factors. Some members noted the competition posed by the proximity of the new King Soopers in Eastbridge. Many wondered how adding over 700 members could be accomplished in such a short time frame and, once that occurs, whether the capital campaign would be successful. Nourish representatives noted that market analysis of the location had taken into account King Soopers and other neighboring businesses. Through small-group discussions, members came up with ideas to address other concerns, including using existing social and business networks within the current membership to procure additional members and funding.
The co-op board emphasized to its members that supporting Nourish is an investment. Not only can members expect to eventually receive dividends, board members noted, but for every dollar spent, approximately $2.50 is returned to the local community in the co-op model, compared to about 70 cents on the dollar for traditional, corporate grocers such as Kroger, which owns King Soopers. When it opens, Nourish will become a part of a network of three Denver-area co-ops, including the Westwood Food Co-op, slated to open this year, and the West Colfax Food Co-op, which incorporated at the end of 2015.
Depending on a number of factors, including the success of its capital campaign, the development of necessary infrastructure by the City of Aurora, and the speed of construction, Nourish hopes to open its doors to the public in the latter part of 2018. The natural grocery store will focus on high-quality, locally sourced, natural and organic products but will also offer traditional pantry items and a diverse array of products to serve the surrounding area.
A spokesperson for the developer, 5280 Development Group, says they hope to submit a development application to the City of Aurora early next year and to break ground by the end of 2017. An application to rezone the property for mixed-use development was approved by Aurora earlier this year. Nouara Sadaoui says Nourish would occupy 10,000 square feet of the planned 32,000 square feet allocated for retail. That retail will front both Dallas and Dayton streets and may include one or two restaurants. The 15-story building will include 140 for-sale condominium units, four levels of parking and office space.
To learn more about Nourish or join as a member-owner, visit nourish.coop.