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Food Co-op Sells Fourth Ave. Building

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Food Co-op sells Fourth Ave. building



The People’s Food Cooperative has sold the building at 216-218 N. Fourth Ave. it bought just over a year ago with hopes of consolidating four co-op storefronts under one roof,

The building, sold to certified public accountant Lonnie Loy and local hotelier David Woodrow for an undisclosed price, had become a financial nightmare for the PFC, which discovered its preliminary estimate of $60,000 for renovation costs to be about 50 percent shy of the mark.

Loy said Thursday that the two partners have not decided whether the building will be occupied by "office space, retail space, or a combination thereof .”

Although the building lies just outside the city’s newly designated Old Fourth Ward historic district, Loy said he and Woodrow, who owns and operates the Crystal House, Arbor Lodge and Lamp Post motels, will preserve the building’s appearance rather than modernizing it.

“We want it to be in keeping with the original character of the neighborhood,” he said.

Bill Van Dore, who will take over as the PFC’s first corporation-wide general manager on Jan. 1, said the sale would enable the PFC to pay back $25,000 outstanding debts to tradespeople and $20,000 in short-term loans from the co-op members.

The PFC purchased the building in November, 1982 for $115,000. A substantial amount of work was accomplished on the inside of the building – including knocking one roof. down walls, repairing a leaky and chipping plaster from the walls to reveal the original brick – before the co-op was forced to abandon the project last spring.

Van Dore said preliminary estimates show that the Packard branch of the co-op will make a $10,000 profit this year, but the Fourth Avenue storefront and the Herb and Spice Shop, located on E. Ann Street near Fourth, will finish $15,000 and $2,000 in the red, respectively.