500 Walton Ave

 

Act Like You Own the Place! (Because you do!)

 

We are collecting signatures to demonstrate community support for the 500 Walton Avenue location. Please add your name to the Signatures of Support for Wild Root Market.

 

Contact your Alderman and the Mayor. Tell them you can’t wait to shop at Wild Root Market and you hope the City is doing all they can to support this community effort!  See the Talking Points for details and email addresses.
 

Write a Letter to the Editor to the  Journal Times and Racine County Eye expressing why YOU are excited to shop at Wild Root Market and why you think this is important for our community! See the Talking Points for details and email addresses.

 

Attend the Public Hearings at City Hall. Wear your Wild Root Market t-shirt, bring your Wild Root Market yard sign (without the stake, of course!) and sign up to voice your support for Wild Root Market at 500 Walton! Use these talking points to craft your message of 3 minutes or less. If you’re too shy to speak, that’s okay! We need you to come out and support us with your attendance! All meetings are held in the Council Chambers, Room 205.

Meeting Dates:

May 31, 4:15pm – Plan Commission Public Hearing

June 20, 7:00pm – Common Council Public Hearing

 

Grow ownership for your store! Talk to your friends, family and neighbors about Wild Root Market and ask them to become an Owner.

 

Volunteer! Get started by completing our Volunteer Form online or sending us an email.   

 

Like us on Facebook, share and comment on our posts.

 

Email your questions, comments, and ideas!

 

We are so excited that we have a contract in place for Wild Root Market Cooperative!

 

 

The site is

500 Walton Avenue

in Racine on the northwest corner of Walton and Wisconsin. The property is just west of the Racine Zoo and just north of the intersection at Goold and Main.

 
 

The location is strategically positioned to be a true neighborhood store and will bring a much-needed resource to this residential area.  We are confident this site provides the attributes required for a successful store.  It is right-sized, centrally located, and offers ample parking both at the site and across Walton in the lot at 2214 Wisconsin.

 

We’re working with the local architectural firm, Butterfield, Rudie & Seitz, local builders Bukaceck Construction, as well as national co-op consulting firms CDS and FCI to complete preliminary due diligence, preliminary inspections (including Phase I environmental and hazardous materials assessments), and preliminary store design.  Conceptual budgets are in line with our market study sales projections on the site.

 

So, when do we get to shop at the store?

As we celebrate this important milestone, we need to keep in mind there is work ahead.  Things are going to move very quickly now. We need to mobilize and we have some big requests of you! We’ve divided this into 3 easy stages for opening the doors on the store.

 

PHASE 1 – Rezone & Grow Ownership

Although all preliminary data looks favorable, we need approval from the City of Racine for a zoning change to allow the operation of a retail grocery store at the site. We’ve already initiated this process and are following all standard procedures to obtain the required zoning changes and use permit. There are lots of opportunities for you to help with this effort and it’s crucial that you do so. See below for more info on how you can help.

 

During this phase, it’s also critical that we grow our Ownership. We’re on track with 828 Owners but we need 1500 by the time we open our doors. Talk to your friends, family and neighbors about Wild Root Market and ask them to become an Owner

 

Members of the cooperative will be going door-to-door in the neighborhood surrounding the site between April 4 and April 10 to meet residents, provide information, answer questions and gather feedback.

 

PHASE 2 – Capitalization

Once zoning is approved, due diligence is complete, and renovation budgets are firmed up, the next phase will be financing the project. Raising the necessary capital, approximately $4 million, is a significant effort that is already underway. National cooperative lenders are interested, we’re talking to local lenders, and we’re researching grant opportunities. Voluntary Owner loans will provide a significant share of the financing. We’ve talked about this since the beginning of this project and will be communicating about it in greater detail in the coming months.

 

PHASE 3 – Hire a General Manager & Begin Construction

The General Manager will be in charge of all operational aspects of our co-op. The successful GM will be a visionary leader, team player, savvy businessperson, skilled communicator, and diplomat. We know it will take some time to find the right person, so the search is already underway. We’re lucky to have several co-op Owners who are HR professionals volunteering on the GM Search Committee.

 

Construction is expected to take 9-12 months once all site contingencies are removed.