It is with a heavy heart that we share this news. So many neighbors and community members took a risk to bring this extraordinary possibility of Apple Street into being. In spite of hundreds of people pouring their time, talent, and treasure into this project, it didn’t pan out. Nothing great comes without risk, and yet it is heartbreaking this vision for fresh food access for the people and by the people has not come to be. We got close. We had construction documents at City Hall ready to break ground when our financing fell through in 2019 leading to a cascade of events that resulted in the loss of our location. 2020 was spent vigorously trying to find a location that would enable a financially viable grocery store to come to life.
Although board members have been working hard to find a new location for the store, we currently do not see a path to opening Apple Street Market cooperative in Northside.
And though community members are working on developing an alternative Buying Club, that initiative is a separate entity and cannot operate under Apple Street Market bylaws. It is with a heavy heart that Apple Street Market board members voted unanimously to legally dissolve Apple Street Market. The board also voted to appoint Kristen Barker as the officer who will manage the liquidation of assets.
Why did the board vote to end Apple Street Market?
1) We do not see a pathway towards securing a viable location
2) Although we have been operating with minimal spending, Apple Street Market does have ongoing expenses (e.g. accounting, website, Mailchimp). With no path towards acquiring property for the store, we believe we should save these resources.
3) Apple Street Market also has debts and liabilities that must be addressed. If we dissolve now, we can:
return loans that have been waiting in escrow for the project (the 75% of the loan amount placed in escrow since February 2019)
return 10-15% of the amount of each loan proffered to Apple Street before Feb 2019 that has been disbursed and used, at least partially, for expenses in opening the store. (See here for a description of how funds were used during the project).
Unfortunately, as we reiterated in the Winter of 2019 when it became clear that Apple Street Market would not be able to be part of a mixed-use development with NEST’s affordable housing project at the Save-a-Lot site, the project cannot pay back membership shares purchased because those funds were used to develop the construction plans and other project expenses.
To see how Apple Street spent its money for 7 years through December 2020, see this link.
There are numerous steps that must be taken to fully dissolve Apple Street Market cooperative. One is that a majority of owners who vote must agree to dissolve the project. We are therefore planning to hold an owner meeting in September to discuss the project, what went wrong, what positives resulted (e.g. LGBTQ friendly senior affordable housing, Gem City Market), answer questions, and hold the owner vote.
The next Apple Street Board meeting will be on Thursday, August 5th at 6 pm on zoom. We will be planning the annual meeting and available to answer questions as well.