There is a very important vote taking place right now that will affect the future of your Co-op. There are two questions on the ballot that we’re asking our owners to vote yes for:
1. Should GreenStar’s Council be authorized to relocate the Co-op’s West End store and operations to 770 Cascadilla Street and enter into a lease for that site, and shall Council be authorized to sell the cooperative’s operations at 700 & 702 W. Buffalo Street?
2. Should GreenStar’s bylaws and certificate of incorporation be amended to allow for the purchase of optional member-owner equity investments, “Investment Shares,” for the purpose of raising funds, by its Member-Owners?
To help you make an informed decision, here’s a list of our most frequently asked questions:
Where would the new West End store be? The address of the proposed location for the new West End store is 770 Cascadilla Street, the site of the Cornell printing warehouses. It’s just 3 ½ blocks from our current West End store!
When would the new store open? The new West End store would open in early 2020.
How big will the new West End store be? We’ll grow from 6,500 sq. ft. to 16,500 sq. ft. — the average grocery store is 40,000 sq. ft. We want the Co-op to maintain its small-store feeling, but have room to shop comfortably, particularly for our shoppers with disabilities who currently struggle to navigate the West End stores cramped quarters.
What will happen to The Space (700 W. Buffalo St.) and The Classrooms (702 W. Buffalo St.)? Our new building will accommodate all of our West End operations under one roof! The Space, The Classrooms, our Administrative Offices, and our Central Kitchen will all be part of our new store. Selling these properties will help to finance our expansion project.
Why are we leasing a building instead of buying one? At this point we simply do not have the capital to outright buy, build, and/or retrofit a building in a location that would suitably fit our needs. While we would be leasing our new building (770 Cascadilla Street) from Organic Waterfront, we will enter into a lease-to-own arrangement. This would give us the opportunity to buy our new building in 10 years. This is a favorable arrangement for the Co-op and our General Manager firmly believes that the Co-op will be in a financial position to make this purchase in 10 years, given the projections on our ability to grow sales with the expansion.
What will happen to our DeWitt and Collegetown locations? Not at thing! Our DeWitt and Collegetown stores will remain open in their current locations.
More about Investment Shares: A yes vote on question 2 will simply give us the option of raising capital through owner investments. Investment Shares are optional additional equity investments made by Co-op owners. While the capital raised through member payments is sufficient to meet the Co-op’s needs in normal operating years, it is not enough to meet the needs of major expansion or relocation projects. Across the country, our sister co-ops have successfully raised significant funds from their owners as a part of their project capitalization, and GreenStar hopes to do the same. But first, we need to amend our bylaws to allow us to do so.
What are the benefits of Investment Shares?
Investment Shares provide a values-based investment option to our owners that:
- accrue dividends and offer a local investment option at competitive rates
- reduces the need for outside financing, which keeps more money local
- are available only to GreenStar member-owners who live in NY State
- do not grant any additional votes to their holders
- builds equity into the co-op
To find out more about Investment Shares, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have more questions?
- Read the Feasibility Study on our proposed expansion and relocation.
- Read our blog posts on Question 1 and Question 2.
- Visit our Growing Forward page
- Download and read the 2018 Special Vote Member Mailing
- Contact email@example.com
- Want to save paper and vote online for future Co-op votes? Sign up here.