A MESSAGE FROM THE ROOTED CARROT CO-OP BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Monday, March 7, 2022
On Wednesday, the Rooted Carrot’s Board of Directors made a unanimous vote regarding the Co-op’s future site. We wanted to update you on this decision and the reasoning behind it.
As you know, we’ve been working diligently with a developer who was seeking approval from the City for a new building to house the Co-op at the corner of 7th and Main Streets in Cedar Falls. As we have reported before, the building approval process changed this past fall when the City of Cedar Falls adopted a new downtown-specific building code.
The Co-op and the developer were made aware of these changes in the summer and were invited to either beat the code change by updating a then-current rendering OR submit a rendering that met the new code after the new code was in place. The developer did the former: successfully submitted an updated site rendering prior to the adoption of the new code. Unfortunately, after it was submitted, the city said that they would not review it and indicated the new code would need to be met in order for the plan review by the City.
The Co-op and developer pivoted and sought out all possible solutions to meet the new building requirements. However, after careful and thorough review and numerous conversations with stakeholders, we have concluded that this site will no longer support the Co-op’s requirements for a fiscally responsible solution. (Learn more of the ‘why’ through an informational video or by attending the Q&A session, details on both of those are below.)
As a result, we have determined it is best to move away from this site. The board and many other volunteers have invested countless hours in this project, and we are both disappointed and saddened by the outcome. We know many of you are feeling this as well.
Though upsetting, we know from other start-up food co-ops that changing sites during the development phase is not unusual. Assabet Co-op Market, East Aurora Co-op Market, and River Valley Co-op (read their story here) are just some examples of food co-ops that had to switch locations during their fundraising stage. We are dedicated to finding a site in the downtown area that will fit within the new building codes, and that will be as good as–or better!–than the site at 7th and Main. In fact, we are vetting a new site right now. We will be working with the city, developer, and architects over the coming months to verify that this potential site meets the Co-ops’ needs. We are cautiously optimistic and hope to be able to provide you with details soon!
New co-op development is a long road full of ups and downs, and this journey is only made possible with the support from member-owners like you! We will continue to move forward, making careful decisions to ensure our Rooted Carrot Co-op Market not only opens its doors but is a strong presence in our community for decades to come.
As always, thank you for staying tuned in to YOUR co-op and for your investment in this process. We are grateful for this community!
Rooted Carrot Co-op Board of Directors
A Board Video has been added to the Rooted Carrot Co-op Facebook page. Click here for the YouTube video from the Board.
In the meantime, email questions to email@example.com.