500 Walton Ave

 

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

 

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.

 
 

We are thrilled to announce that Wild Root Market received the necessary approvals from the City of Racine to operate a grocery store at 500 Walton Avenue. We are very grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support, both from the neighborhood and from our member-owners.

 

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 – Grow Ownership

 

Now that we’ve received approval from the City of Racine for a zoning change, it’s critical that we grow our Ownership. We’re on track with 950+ 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

 

PHASE 2 – Capitalization

Zoning has been approved, so after 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.