Ozark Natural Foods will move to downtown Fayetteville after all.
ONF general manager Mike Anzalone confirmed Monday that the co-op has purchased the building formerly home to CV’s Family Foods at 380 N. College Ave., and will move forward with plans to relocate their store to the building.
“We are extremely excited to hear the overwhelming support for this move to 380 N. College Avenue from our owners, from the city and from the surrounding neighborhoods,” Anzalone said. “We think that this move is going to be good for our co-op; but we also think it is going to be great for our downtown and our community. We look forward to returning to our roots in Downtown Fayetteville and continuing to grow our coop and the cooperative economy.”
Anzalone said the purchase of the building officially closed on Friday, Oct. 12. Property records indicate the co-op purchased the building for $3.6 million from the Hubert Charles Agee, JR Revokable Trust.
Officials announced in July plans to pursue a purchase of the former CV’s building, and to sell their current building in Evelyn Hills. At the time, they already had a buyer in place to purchase the Evelyn Hills property.
That buyer backed out of the deal, however, on the day that the board was set to vote on the purchase of the former CV’s location. As a result, the board was uncomfortable moving forward with the purchase at the time.
That led board president Joshua Youngblood to announce that the co-op would be staying put for the time being.
Anzalone said after doing some additional research, and considering several different scenarios, they went back to the board once again with a proposal to purchase the building, and this time they approved.
“I went out to enlist the help of some professionals, bankers, and brokers,” Anzalone said. “We found it wasn’t as risky as we thought. In fact, we found it was actually more advantageous for us to move forward (with the purchase).”
He said the co-op reached back out to the Agee family, who was selling the CV’s Family Foods property, and they were happy to pick back up where they left off.
“They had some options, but I think they wanted to see that property be a grocery store. It has such a long history in that neighborhood,” Anzalone said. “We were actually able to close on our original closing date, under the original terms.”
Anzalone said the co-op will now move forward to list their current building at 1554 N. College Monday with Sage Partners commercial broker Sterling Hamilton, who also represented them in the purchase of the former CV’s building. The Evelyn Hills location will be available for sale at $3.7 million, or for lease at $12 per square foot.
The co-op won’t wait for their Evelyn Hills building to sell before they begin the process of renovating their new space.
“We are going to get started immediately,” Anzalone said.
ONF marketing manager Carrie Kent said once complete, the new store will offer the same healthy and organic items the co-op is known for, along with an expanded selection of prepared food and grab-and-go items.
“We think we’ll have more walk-up traffic at the new location, and we want to be able to offer something not only for our customers that come to fill up their carts, but also those who are looking for some convenient items, or even just to grab a coffee and a scone,” she said.
Fayetteville architecture firm Modus Studio will assist the co-op with renovation design of the new location.
ONF officials said they anticipate moving into the new location sometime within the next year.