By Brandon Kane, General Manager
My first day of working for GreenStar was the night before we opened our DeWitt store in May, 2004. Even back then, as I helped move fridges and stock shelves, my more seasoned coworkers were discussing the fact that this additional location wouldn’t compensate for the need to expand the West End store. Over the course of the decade and a half that followed, opportunities came and went, but we kept at it, studying the feasibility of each new possibility.
And now here we are and I’m finally able to put these words to paper: Construction of our new flagship location at 770 Cascadilla Street is well underway and is expected to be completed in time for a grand opening in early spring of 2020. The larger of the two former Cornell Press warehouses is leveled to make way for the civil components of parking lot, walkways, and landscaping. The warehouse that will be our new home is getting windows added in, and what will be our new concrete floor will be poured in a matter of weeks. Hopefully, you’ve gotten a peek at some of the gorgeous initial interior design renderings making the rounds in GreenLeaf and on our website (www.greenstar.coop).
Over the last two months, we put the finishing touches on our interior floorplan and tweaked some components of the building program to ensure that we protect our mutual investment and stay on budget, while delivering the cooperative experience our members voted for. I want to thank the members of the development team that have made this project work, including but not limited to Organic Nature LLC., Edger Inc., Linc Morse Construction, STREAM Collaborative, Taitem Engineering, T.G. Miller Engineering, and John Snyder Architects.
I’m happy to report that we are now able to share some of the design specifics that many of our owners have been asking about. In what I feel is a rather monumental display of forward-thinking, we have opted to go gas-free to heat our building by choosing an electric heat pump HVAC system to warm and cool the entire 34,000-plus square foot facility. This becomes even more remarkable when coupled with the fact that 100% of our electricity will be sourced from community solar farms! The heating, LED lighting throughout the premises, computers, fridges, freezers, and electric vehicle charging station will all be powered by the sun. I hoped you’re as pleased as I am to know that, more than forty years in, GreenStar is still leading the way in demonstrating that a successful business can be run cooperatively and sustainably.
I’m also pleased to note that the spring phase of our Capital Campaign is underway. The success of our expansion relies, in large part, on a successful campaign. Current owners residing in New York State who are ready to make an investment, or would like more information, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org today. Thank you to the Co-op owners who have invested over a half-a-million dollars, so far!
I feel so proud of the collective impact that will be achieved through this project. Dozens of living wage jobs will be created while our sales of local goods will grow even beyond the present $6 million annually. I look forward to reporting more details here as we keep growing together.