The Loveland City Council has approved a sales tax rebate program negotiated by the Downtown Development Authority that will enable Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets Inc. to place a Natural Grocers store at 745 N. Lincoln Ave.
The council voted 7-1 in favor of permitting the rebate, with Mayor Jacki Marsh voting against the measure and councilor Richard Ball abstaining.
The deal would rebate up to $500,000 in sales tax revenue to Natural Grocers over a period of 10 years; the rebate would reimburse the grocer for infrastructure improvements and aesthetic requirements required by DDA. Documents filed with the city allocate $50,000 toward burying overhead power lines and the remaining $450,000 to be used for cladding materials for the building, additional windows and covered walkways.
The design requirements are different from many other Natural Grocers locations, including a provision for windows on all sides of the building and brickwork on the exterior. Natural Grocers requested and received $40,000 for the windows, $105,000 for cladding materials and $135,000 for cornices and a covered walkway.
Planning documents filed with the city list the planned building at 14,000 square feet. City regulations require the building to have 47 parking spaces, 16 of which are planned on the parcel. The remaining 89 planned parking spaces would be on a shared parcel across the alley from the site.
Natural Grocers will lease the site from Ward West LLP, which also owns the parking lot to the south and the property on which Chase Bank is located.
The location, which was home to a now-demolished blighted building, is across Eighth Street from the Safeway store that serves downtown Loveland. The location is also about a half mile from the Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. location on Eisenhower Boulevard.
Some members of the public expressed concern at the planned Natural Grocers location’s proximity to other grocery stores serving central Loveland, but others were excited at the increased access to organic food and natural supplements the store would represent. Natural Grocers officials plan to open the store in February of 2023.
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