Whole Foods Co-op
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Looks Can Be Deceiving

Even though the site still looks vacant, a lot of work has been done on the Denfeld Project in the last few months:

  • We broke the ice with our new neighbors in the Denfeld area by participating in a number of community events throughout the summer.
  • Since opening the Owner Finance Program in March, 149 Owners have invested in either Owner Loans ($936,000) and/or Class C equity ($80,500); both investment opportunities are still open and we encourage you (Owners who are Minnesota residents) to contact finance@wholefoods.coop to speak to someone in the Finance Department for more information.
  • Interior design elements at Denfeld will align with the new colors, materials, and signage elements at the Hillside store while the brick exterior will reflect the style of neighboring buildings and the solar panels will be visible on the west side.
  • The site survey was completed; the appraisal of the land exceeded our offer; the appraisal on the Hillside store reflected a significant increase in collateral from the 2010 appraisal.
  • The environmental reports on the Denfeld Property, a registered brown field, were not inspiring but they did put some limits on the problems we would need to budget for to properly reclaim and develop this site.
  • Our staff Design Team worked diligently with the architects and store planners on design and layout issues
  • We closed on the purchase of 4426 Grand Avenue on August 7th.
  • The Planning Commission approved the sire design and foundation plan on August 12th.
  • The architects issued Bid Package #1 (site design and foundation plan) on August 29th.
  • A ceremonial groundbreaking occurred on September 24th
  • Competitive bidding on site design and foundation work was conducted and a construction contract was signed on September 29th.
  • A building permit was issued for site design and foundation work on October 3rd.

And, just as the window for good weather for outside construction began to close, the “as will be appraisal” the last piece needed to close on our financing with MCCU came in $1.3 million short of the construction budget. We have a Plan B to make the project work for everyone, however, the Co-op will not be closing on outside financing until December or January. That means construction work will start on the Denfeld site in April or May. The delayed start means there will be savings on weather-related expenses, especially if this winter is anything like last year!

Thank you for your support.

Sharon Murphy, General Manager

Whole Foods Co•op


Hillside Store

610 E 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55805

Denfeld Store

4426 Grand Avenue
Duluth, MN 55807