Valley Natural Foods Store Expansion

Expansion Update: Week of July 16, 2018

A good deal of exterior and interior work will be going on this week and into the next. The relocation of frozen foods is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of next week. In the front of the store, soffits will be hung above the front end and the Customer Service desk. We’ll also install a new produce cooler and remove a block partition wall in the receiving area, making way for expansion of the produce prep area.

On the exterior, joist pockets are being cut into the west side upper exterior wall to hold the structural steel trusses that will eventually support the roof over the new section of the store. We expect the precast concrete exterior panels to arrive on site sometime next week. After that, we hope to see quick progress in erecting the new section exterior walls.

Expansion Update: Week of July 9, 2018

Exterior construction work continues on schedule, and the first phases of work on the sales floor began this week. The concrete footings for the exterior walls and partitions were poured, as well. The joist-bearing pockets have been cut to accept structural steel elements that will soon arrive on site, and the exterior precast concrete walls are on schedule for arrival.

Inside the store, we have consolidated the number of product facings in Aisle 8 (juices, beverages, paper goods, etc.) and moved the shelving to the front seating area. This makes way for relocating our frozen food section. Channel cutting of the concrete floor in Aisle 8 is complete and ready for electrical and plumbing, and SouthTown Refrigeration is scheduled to begin sub-floor and overhead piping for the frozen section.

Expansion Update: Week of July 2, 2018

Site work continues for the rest of this week, with soils correction, excavation for footings and footing forms finishing out the week. Next week will see the first significant changes to take place inside of the store. Aisle 7 – currently frozen foods – will begin its move to aisle 8 (paper goods, cleaners and pet supplies / juices and beverages). We will be moving these shelving units from Aisle 8 and relocate them to the front of the store, in the guest seating area.  They will be arranged in a large L-shaped arrangement around the perimeter of the seating area, allowing for relatively easy shopping. Our refrigeration contractor will be creating new drains and channels in the concrete to prepare for the newly located frozen cases. The classroom area will be unavailable as it undergoes remodeling. We will set up one or two community seating areas for owners and guests to take the place of the dozen or so single tables. We expect to complete this first phase by July 24-27.

Expansion Update: Week of June 25, 2018

The upcoming two weeks will bring significant progress and changes. Site work continues on the new addition area with the relocation of our water and gas mains. Underpinnings and installation of the support piers will take place, with concrete forms and footings to follow. Work also begins in earnest on the interior of the store.  Frozen foods will be the first area to be relocated, while our classroom undergoes demolition and rework that will eventually result in expanded customer seating. We’ll  temporarily move part of our grocery selection to the front of the store by the windows in the customer seating area. Look for signage and to our great staff for directions on where to find  beverage and paper goods that have been moved.

Expansion Update: Week of June 18, 2018

This week will see the relocation of our water main and preparation for gas main relocation. Jersey barriers have been placed on the frontage road near Cornerstone Copy to create a safer passage for pedestrians and staff. A temporary pathway is being created leading from the frontage road to the teaching garden path and front entrance. Our contractors will be cutting block wall for the new bar joists that will support the new roof structure. Look for additional site work to continue as we move towards preparing for new pavement, sidewalks and curbing.

Expansion Update: Week of June 11, 2018

Demolition of the car wash and debris removal is now complete. Excavation for helical pile installation will occur this week. These piles will anchor the concrete footings that will support the exterior concrete walls. Kraus-Anderson is working with CenterPoint Energy to coordinate gas line relocation, and prior utilities connections have been capped and inspected by the city. New electrical, gas and communications utilities will be installed and re-routed over the next week. Kraus-Anderson and Valley Natural Foods are now working with our sub-contractors to coordinate the schedule of the remodel of the store’s interior.

Expansion Update: Week of June 4, 2018

The long-awaited demolition of the car wash has taken place and Valley Natural Food’s expansion and remodel is underway. After we closed our drive-thru for the duration of construction, a highly skilled excavator operator made short work of the car wash, razing the structure in little over one day. Removal of the car wash’s concrete footprint, surrounding asphalt and curbing will take place over the next few days, and we’ll also be removing the light poles for future use. Site work will continue into the week of June 11, with preparations being made for installation of the helical piles/piers and concrete footings. These will form the foundation for the store’s precast concrete outer wall panels. Installation of utilities will also take place over the next two weeks. Expect to see more earth moving equipment and backhoes, some very large dump trucks and our utilities providers on site.

Expansion Update: Week of May 28, 2018

Kraus-Anderson is now on-site, has set up their project trailer, and is preparing for the first phases of construction. Fluorescent lights, ballasts and other potentially hazardous materials are being removed from the car wash, with demolition scheduled to begin this week. Removal of curbing and existing landscaping will also occur.  The gates for the perimeter safety fencing will go up on Tuesday or Wednesday, effectively closing our drive-thru service window for the duration of construction. Expect to see earth-moving equipment around the site as Kraus-Anderson prepares the back area of the store for the 8,000-square-feet addition and installation of the pre-cast exterior panels.

 

Expansion Update: Week of May 21, 2018

We have arrived at the start of our expansion project. After bidding farewell to the neighboring carwash with a staff party, construction of the new Valley Natural Foods expansion begins this week. On May 24 we will see the arrival of our general contractor Kraus-Anderson’s first teams on site. From May 2529, the perimeter safety fencing around the construction site will be erected, and you can expect to see the Kraus-Anderson project trailer along the front side of the store. Once our teams have tied into the utilities grids, we will see the long-anticipated demolition of the car wash (and if you drive by between now and May 31, you can see our staff artistry on display on the carwash).

Expansion Update: Week of May 14, 2018

We’ve experienced a slight delay in the start date on our expansion. Last week, our general contractor Kraus-Anderson became aware of the requirement for asbestos testing on the car wash prior to its demolition. Although the use of asbestos in construction was no longer a common practice when the car wash was built circa 2000, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency nonetheless required a test to be performed. As expected, test results showed no traces of asbestos. However, the subsequent reporting and certification process will postpone the construction start date by approximately two weeks.

In other expansion news:

  • After negotiations, we are signing with Kraus-Anderson to be our general contractor.
  • Our equipment selections are on a positive track.
  • We are currently looking at bids for the fabrication and installation of our interior design and décor elements.

Architect Renderings

Architect's rendering of new produce dept.

Architect's rendering of new produce dept.

Architect's rendering of newcustomer service area

Architect's rendering of newcustomer service area

Architect's rendering of new front end area

Architect's rendering of new front end area

Architect's rendering of new bulk area

Architect's rendering of new bulk area

Architect's rendering of new deli and juice bar seating area

Architect's rendering of new deli and juice bar seating area

Architect's rendering of new classroom

Architect's rendering of new classroom

Architect's rendering of new seating area

Architect's rendering of new seating area

Our expansion and full-store remodel ushers in a new chapter in Valley Natural Foods’ 40-plus-year history. The expanded Valley Natural Foods will enable the co-op to provide a more contemporary shopping experience for owners and customers. Some of the features will include:

  • An increased store footprint of nearly 8,600 square feet.
    • Increased retail space of 3,400 square feet; kitchen and production areas will increase by 3,600 square feet. Receiving, mechanical, and office space will increase by 1,600 ft.
    • Wider shopping aisles.
    • An additional 40 parking spaces will be added to the property, including six new spaces by the back entrance.
    • New HVAC and refrigeration control systems will help reduce environmental impact.
    • A wider variety of hot and ready-to-eat housemade meals

We will also add retail shelf space in all departments. Fresh and prepared foods and wellness programs, in particular, will see significant increases, including:

  • Deli and Kitchen: 1,100 additional square-feet for increased production and retail capacity
  • Produce: an additional 120 square feet
  • Meat and Seafood: larger service cases and an additional 12 feet of shelf space for an expanded meat selection
  • Wellness: an additional 50 linear feet of shelving units

The remodeled store will also feature a newly expanded seating area. The current classroom will be remodeled, as well, to give the space a more communal atmosphere.

The entire project slated to be complete by late 2018 or early 2019. The co-op will remain open throughout the duration of the remodel.