Ready for a Change of Scenery for the Iowa City Co-op?
The New Pioneer Co-op is a step closer to moving. Are you ready for change or do you like things how they are?
The New Pioneer Co-op is pushing forward plans to move from its home of more than 25 years.
The vast majority of Co-op members voted in favor of a move diagonally across the block southwest of its current location at 22 S. Van Buren St. More precisely it gained support from 90 percent of the more than 3,400 ballots cast.
Despite the endorsement, the Co-op still must acquire the land, meaning the move isn't certain. That process will begin in May.
The proposed new site, at the corner of Gilbert and College streets where the Iowa City Bike Library now stands, would give the Co-op more room. The Bike Library has its own plans to move about a mile south.
The Co-op project is estimated to cost around $8 million or more. The Co-op would get the bottom of a five to eight story mix-use building. Aside from the Bike Library, that block has been vacant for years, an outlier in an otherwise very developed downtown Iowa City.
The Co-op has survived moves before, some time ago. The Co-op opened on Bowery Street in 1971, had a location at the Gilbert and Prentiss street intersection and started staking claim to the Van Buren Street location beginning in 1977 and fully expanded into it in 1987, according to the Co-op's website. The Co-op has also stayed strong after opening a second store in Coralville, although a Cedar Rapids store failed in the late 1980s.
News that the move is going forward appears to be getting a lot of positive reaction. On New Pioneer's Facebook page, for example, more than 50 people "liked" posts about the move.
What do you think? Are you ready for a change of scenery for the Co-op, or do you like it the way it is?