Carbondale Community Co-op would like to expand its footprint
CARBONDALE – The Carbondale Community Co-op natural foods store is ready to expand from its existing 450-square-foot space, but the managers are not sure how to open talks with the new owners of the building.”We really need to expand,” said Laurie Loeb, president of the co-op’s board. “We’ve needed to expand for a couple of years.”The co-op is now in its fourth year at 559 Main, and Loeb said that there has been considerable discussion of expanding or moving to a larger location.”We’re doing very well,” she said, explaining that in 2010, the store sold more than $417,000 worth of food.The co-op’s current membership has topped 300, according to board member Allyn Harvey. He said the owners of the building “know we’re interested and looking for ways to grow.”But to date, the co-op has had no talks with the new owner of the building, a corporation known as Equanimous Holdings LLC, according to Loeb and Harvey.Equanimous has recently purchased several downtown properties and 14 lots in the River Valley Ranch subdivision at the south end of town.”They’re very private,” said chief operating officer Mike McCoy of Fleisher Land & Homes, the company that handles property management at the building that houses the co-op.McCoy said he could not give out any information concerning the new owner of the building or the local agent in charge of purchasing property.But sources familiar with the purchases have confirmed, off the record, that the purchasing agent is British attorney Paul Collis, and that Collis is working for billionaire Bren Simon, widow of shopping mall developer Melvin Simon, who died in 2009.Loeb said she had once encountered a representative of the partnership that now owns the co-op’s building, in an informal setting. But she said they did not talk about the co-op’s expansion ideas.”We don’t have any definite information,” she firstname.lastname@example.org
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