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September 1993

Co-op News September 1993 PDF
Have you heard the big news yet? The members approved the recommendation to buy the property at 3111 SE Pacific Ave. The vote total was 665 in favor of the recommendation and 53 against. Did I hear anyone say mandate? Looks like we got ourselves a deal. Now what?

Well, let us take a big breath. Okay. It’s time for … implementation!! What follows here, is this report’s account of the process from now until opening. So, happy reading … and if you have any feedback, get it to that loveable expansion coordinator Harry as soon as possible. Oh, and, by the way … congrats to Susan Buis, Bill Fiorilli, and Nije Pinder for their victory in the Board election. Good luck!


Closing requires obtaining the necessary financing and ensuring successful completion of all other contract contingencies. Most aspects of the closing will be coordinated between our band, the Co-op coordinator, the finance committee, our lawyer, and the seller. This process should be fairly straight forward and most of the timing will be dictated by the bank. We will also use the time before closing to insure that the property and building have no environmental problems or liabilities.

There are two buildings to consider – the retail space is approximately 5,300 square feet and is connected in two places to the warehouse, which is approximately 3,000 square feet. Current staff are responsible for all decisions concerning the floor plans and have already consented on retail and warehouse floor plans (see diagrams 1 and 2).

These plans will involve little to no change of the existing structures. In a nutshell, our remodeling plans for the retail building are: 1) reroof; 2) bring electrical and plumbing up to code and meet our needs; 3) drywall; 4) install flooring over the concrete; 5) paint it inside and out. The warehouse will contain offices, a kitchen for deli production, bathrooms, and, of course, all the coolers and warehouse shelving.

Usually the next step is to find an architect. The architect can: draw all our interior and exterior remodel plans to scale and specify materials where needed, make sure our plans follow the city building codes, work with contractors as needed, help us obtain permits as needed. It is also possible to use an architect as a consultant to the process and develop the plans ourselves. We hope to have our plans drawn by September 1. After the plans are drawn, we can get firm bids from contractors as well as building permits from the City of Olympia.

Essentially, we will need approval of our site plans and a building permit. This sounds easy on paper, but it is actually a lengthy and detailed review process. Since we are new owners, the city can require that we bring the site and the buildings up to code. Overall, it could easily take us 2 to 3 months to get the necessary permits to begin remodeling.

The first question to answer is, should we hire a general contractor or should we act as our own general contractor. Many people recommend hiring a general because the benefits far outweigh the costs (normally 10% – 15% of the remodel). Not only does the general have responsibility for coordinating all the work but they have experience in navigating all the hoops and permits and inspectors and subcontractors and anything else.

Others say it’s not that hard and we can do it ourselves. We have experience and trust with most of the subcontractors. We know how to coordinate things (process is our middle name). Also, there are contractors who will consult a project on an hourly basis.

If we decide to go with a contractor, we will need to get bids based on the drawings and work desired. Many factors will be weighed in deciding on contractors, including cost, availability, quality of work, experience, ability to communicate, etc. The Board will make the final decision regarding the hiring of contractors. It has been estimated that the remodeling work that we desire will take 2 to 3 months.

By Harry Levine, staff member

Co-op News September 1993 PDF

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