Natural Grocers confirms downtown Greeley store, to close 35th Ave. location

GREELEY — It’s official: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is coming to downtown Greeley.

The Lakewood-based natural-foods grocer will close its location at 2819 35th Ave., relocating the outlet downtown, the company confirmed to BizWest.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage entered the Greeley market in 2010 with a store at 2819 35th Ave. That store will close as the grocery chain relocates it to a building downtown. Courtesy Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Natural Grocers confirmed the relocation after BizWest discovered documents online that identified the grocery chain as the tenant for a building at 1320 Eighth Ave.

“Since opening the Greeley location in 2010, we’ve updated and modernized the Natural Grocers shopping experience,” Natural Grocers spokesperson Amy Brophy said in an email to BizWest. “With this relocation and renovation, we are bringing these updates to the community and serving them even better than we did at our original location. The vibrant communities of Greeley will enjoy a new, contemporary layout, more efficient checkout experience, nutrition education center, and new and bigger product offerings throughout all departments.

“Customers will continue to enjoy our unique shopping experience we are known for, including access to fresh 100% organic produce, the highest quality groceries, vitamins and supplements all at an Always Affordable price, as well as knowledgeable customer service and free Nutrition Education,” she added.

“We are hoping to open the new location by the end of the year.”

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will occupy the vacant building at 1320 Eighth Ave. in downtown Greeley. Bruce Dennis/BizWest

BizWest Wednesday discovered an invitation to bid issued by general contractor The MCP Group in Denver that identified “Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage” as the project name for renovation work to be completed at the vacant, 12,946-square-foot building at 1320 Eighth Ave.

“The work includes selective demolition, cast-in-place concrete, unit masonry, miscellaneous and structural steel, granite countertops, wood slat paneling, stucco patching, roof patching, rooftop screen walls, sheet metal, joint sealants, overhead door, aluminum entrances and storefront, gypsum board assemblies, acoustical ceilings, resilient base, painting, toilet accessories, fire protection specialties, standing seam awning, fire sprinklers, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and fire alarm,” the invitation stated.

Deadline for bids was Aug. 12.

The MCP Group’s website also includes a project manual that confirmed the identity of the retailer as Natural Grocers.

The grocery chain and the downtown Greeley location also are listed on ConstructionJournal.com as an active project for Denver-based Rogue Architecture. Rogue is the Denver-based architecture firm that is designing renovations to the downtown Greeley building, according to planning documents submitted to the city.

BizWest reported in May that Greeley-based Richmark Real Estate Partners LLC would convert the former Downtown Deals on Wheels building into a grocery store. The developers wouldn’t reveal the name of the grocery, except to say that it was a publicly traded company.

At 12,946 square feet, the building — as BizWest noted — is in the size range normally occupied by publicly traded Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., which operates stores ranging from 5,000 to 16,000 square feet, according to its website.

Downtown Greeley has been without a grocery store since Safeway closed its store at 1122 11th Ave. in 2014.

The Greeley Downtown Development Authority in June approved tax-increment financing for the 1320 Eighth Ave. project. A TIF agreement enables a developer to retain the increase in taxes generated by a project — the increment — for a specified period of time. The grocery store received approval to retain 100% of the TIF through 2033, less the DDA’s 5-mill levy and the 1.5% treasurer’s fee.

The TIF amount is projected at $45,000 to $50,000 per year, up to $550,000 over the term of the TIF agreement, said Bianca Fisher, executive director of the DDA.

Fisher said the project will be an important addition to downtown.

“At this point, it almost feels like the ‘who’ is not as important as the ‘when,’” Fisher said, “because, again, we’ve been so long without a grocery store that I think the public is going to be thrilled by whoever the group is.

“I think residents, businesses and the general public are ready and excited for it,” she added. “Again, the matter is just the ‘when.’ If they can be open in the next four or five months, and be open sometime at the start of next year, that’s going to be really positive.”

Fisher said that growth downtown has heightened the need for a grocery store. Richmark has completed construction of the Apartments at Maddie — three buildings totaling 221 units along Eighth Avenue from 15th to 17th streets, and Edison Equity Management Corp. is building a 55+ project at the former Garnsey & Wheeler location at 1100 Eighth Ave. Other residential projects also are in the works.

“Ever since Safeway left — and we had worked hard and long to see if we could support them and keeping them downtown — but when they left, it really created a void, and now more so than ever, with the growth in residential and even some of the mixed-use projects that have come online downtown, it’s needed now more than ever before.”

The grocery store will be far smaller than a typical Safeway or King Soopers, which can range from 46,000 to 125,000 square feet and won’t fill the entire need for groceries downtown, Fisher said.

“Honestly, I think there will still be room for more,” she said. “But this will definitely help to fill a part of that gap. I don’t think anyone expects that it’s going to satisfy the entire need, but it is an excellent step in the right direction in really alleviating some of the food-desert issues that we have.”

Adam Frazier, vice president of real estate development for Richmark, said the addition of a grocery store was a desired outcome after the company initially focused on residential development.

“This is the reason that the city of Greeley and the DDA and Richmark wanted to start redevelopment with housing,” Frazier said, “that we believed adding additional rooftops to the immediate area would entice a grocery store and other national tenants. We’re starting to see that with this tenant and the Dutch Bros. going in at that same intersection.”

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

GREELEY — It’s official: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is coming to downtown Greeley.

The Lakewood-based natural-foods grocer will close its location at 2819 35th Ave., relocating the outlet downtown, the company confirmed to BizWest.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage entered the Greeley market in 2010 with a store at 2819 35th Ave. That store will close as the grocery chain relocates it to a building downtown. Courtesy Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Natural Grocers confirmed the relocation after BizWest discovered documents online that identified the grocery chain as the tenant for a building at 1320 Eighth Ave.

“Since opening the Greeley location in 2010, we’ve updated and modernized the Natural Grocers shopping experience,” Natural Grocers spokesperson Amy Brophy said in an email to BizWest. “With this relocation and renovation, we are bringing these updates to the community and serving them even better than we did at our original location. The vibrant communities of Greeley will enjoy a new, contemporary layout, more efficient checkout experience, nutrition education center, and new and bigger product offerings throughout all departments.

“Customers will continue to enjoy our unique shopping experience we are known for, including access to fresh 100% organic produce, the highest quality groceries, vitamins and supplements all at an Always Affordable price, as well as knowledgeable customer service and free Nutrition Education,” she added.

“We are hoping to open the new…