The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op will be seeking to move to a new location, according to General Manager Paul Cultrera in the Co-op’s latest quarterly newsletter. “[A]fter months of exploring many sites” that would meet the Co-op’s criteria, Cultrera writes, “we have found one that will meet them all.” The Co-op cannot disclose the location, he says, until the project’s developers (Ravel Rasmussen Properties and Separovich/Domich Real Estate) are able to begin discussions with the City of Sacramento Planning Department and the site’s neighbors; but he adds that this should happen “in the next few weeks,” and that the site will be revealed then.
The need for a new site for the Co-op has been clear to some observers. In a Sacramento Bee article last Wednesday (Jan. 4) on the Co-op’s planned move, Bob Shallit writes that the Co-op, currently with about 12,000 members, “has been coping for years with inadequate parking and sales space for its growing operation.” The Co-op’s attempt to address the problem by opening a second location in Elk Grove in 2005, failed 18 months later due to low sales.
In his message, Cultrera writes that (without being able to reveal the location), the new site will be within “two minute’s walking distance” from the current site; “more than double” the available parking spaces; increase the main floor area by more than 30 percent; and combine the store and all the Co-op’s offices, meeting spaces and classroom space into the same building, “while doubling the space available for those purposes.” Cultrera adds that the increased size will mean the Co-op’s rent costs at the new site will be “significantly higher” than at the current location; but that “increased sales volume” from the new location would make the higher rent affordable.
Once the location is announced, Cultrera anticipates that the Co-op members will be asked to vote on the project by this April, with plenty of “informational meetings” prior to the vote to inform members of the “benefits and risks” of the project. If the project is approved and all goes well, the Co-op’s new location would open by the middle of 2014.
For more information, please pick up a copy of the January-March 2012 “Co-op Reporter” at the Co-op; or visit the Co-op’s website.