The Honest Weight Food Co-op announced this week that it's passed the $1 million mark in loans from the public -- and it's now close to moving ahead with its new store.
The co-op already has a site lined up Albany's West End neighborhood -- and a new building has been in the works for years. But a financing snag in March 2010 prompted the co-op to reformulate its plan.
Now it looks like construction could start as early as this fall.
Duke Bouchard, the co-op's CFO, says the total projected cost of the new building is "around $11 million" -- that includes "a new store, equipment, inventory, soft costs, refinancing the land, and a 10% overrun." He says the org has $1.7 million in cash for the project, $1 million in loans from shareholders, and $1.7 million in commitments from subordinate lenders -- with another $100k-200k from subordinate lenders in the works.
That still leaves a $6.5 million chunk. Bouchard says the co-op is currently working with a primary lender to line up the money. He says they're hoping to have a deal completed this fall.
Honest Weight board president Lynne Lekakis says once that deal is in place, the co-op can get going on the building. She told us this week: "We would love it to happen in the next few months, which, depending upon the weather, might enable us to do something before the snow flies."
The co-op is still looking for loans from the public. Lekakis says it would like to raise another $300k that way. She says many people have loaned the co-op money at very favorable rates -- one or two percent -- which will help the org save money.
Honest Weight says it's received 236 loans from individuals, with amounts ranging from $1k-$97k. The average loan amount has been $4,200.
Honest Weight does advertise on AOA.
Honest Weight's proposed new store
100 Watervliet Ave
Albany, NY 12206
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