As I write this column we are a few days away from presenting plans for our proposed store and office relocation at a hearing of the City of Sacramento’s Planning and Design Commission. To see the set of plans that were submitted go to www.sacfoodcoop.com and click on the “Store Relocation Update” icon at the bottom right of our home page. Leading up to the hearing, we have spent many hours meeting with city agencies, neighborhood groups and entities such as Regional Transit, Walk Sacramento and Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates. Those meetings have allowed us to hear concerns and have prompted many improvements to our plans. The result has been that the Planning Department Staff has issued a report recommending approval of the project subject to conditions that we are ready to meet. Assuming that the Commission accepts that report and recommendation, we will then move on to the next step in the process – creating construction drawings that will be submitted in order to obtain the necessary building permits.
If all goes well we can expect to see the following when the store opens (currently slated for June of 2015):
The store building will measure 25,000 square feet on the ground floor, with a 15,000 square foot second floor. Our current store measures 16,000 square feet.
Automobile Parking will consist of 59 spaces at the front of the store and another 59 spaces on the ground floor of an adjacent four level parking garage to be built on vacant land across the alley from the store. During daytime, the 198 spaces on the upper levels of the garage will be used by the Department of Human Assistance, while at night and on weekends all four levels will be available to us. Of the 118 daytime parking spaces available to us, 8 will be for disabled drivers. Our current lot holds 58 cars, with 3 disabled spaces. There will be three electric vehicle charging stations (with the potential to expand to seven in the future)
- Bicycle parking will consist of 40 spaces (and a bicycle repair station) compared to the 12 that we now have.
- Solar panels will be installed on the store and garage roofs as well as on carports that will shade a number of the surface parking spaces.
- The store roof will be punctuated with an array of skylights. LED lighting will be used extensively. Together with high efficiency refrigeration and heating/air
Inside the store, department by department, here are some of some of the highlights of what you’ll find:
- Produce: Expanded refrigerated and non-refrigerated space and easier customer flow.
- Grocery: Expanded bulk, dairy, frozen, dry grocery and house wares display areas.
- Meat/Seafood/Poultry: Expanded service and self-service cases; larger prep area that will allow more on-site production.
- Wellness: Expanded and more central location.
- Wine/Beer/Cheese: More refrigerated space to handle the sale of single beers. Expanded wine selection. Larger, refrigerated olive bar. Cheese cutting will occur adjacent to the cheese case to allow for ongoing staff/customer interaction.
- Deli: New programs to include sushi, a burrito bar, pizza, expanded hot food and salad bars, an ice cream service case, a kombucha bar and a larger grab and go section. Our kitchen will be greatly expanded to provide better working conditions and to allow us to introduce an on-site bakery. Indoor seating will be available on both the ground and second floors, while outdoor seating will be available at both ground level and on a balcony off of the second floor.
- Demo Center: Adjacent to the Produce, Bulk, Grocery and Wellness departments there’ll be a counter equipped with stove and cabinets to allow our Demo department to expand its in-store program.
- Front End: Twelve checkout stands (we now have nine) and a larger Customer Service desk.
- Warehouse: More area to store product; larger walk-in coolers and freezers to handle the volume of refrigerated and frozen product that we sell; separate storage and prep areas for each department to reduce bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
- Second Floor: A mezzanine (accessible by stairs and an elevator) will wrap around three sides of the building and will house our offices, meeting rooms and our Community Learning Center. The mezzanine has nearly twice the space that we now use for those functions in the four separate buildings where they are currently located. Also on this floor will be the main restrooms. The women’s room will have five stalls, while the men’s will have two stalls and two urinals. At the back of the second floor will be a staff break room that will feature a balcony overlooking 28th and R Streets.
There’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but we have reached an important milestone. Getting to this point has required countless hours of effort and I want to appreciate the work done by the team at Separovich/Domich (the project’s developers) -Dain Domich, Sally Freedlander, Wendy Hoyt and architect Bob Lindley. They have been key to moving things along. As have our architects David Mogavero and Sam Kingore at Mogavero Notestine Associates.
P.S. If you would like to invest in the relocation project and earn a nice return, check out the information about our preferred shares program on our site. Co-op owners have already invested $1,267,500 in preferred shares and there are still some left for sale.