The community continues to get closer to potentially having a downtown grocery store as the county has received letters of intent from KCEDA recruits
Klamath Falls, OR (October 4th, 2017) –The Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA) is pleased to report that substantial progress continues to be made towards getting a new grocer to takeover and operate the downtown grocery store, formerly occupied by Haggen. Yesterday, the Klamath County Board of Commissioners publically announced that of the prospective candidates, they have narrowed down two of which they are looking at closely – North State Grocers (a California company name of which Holiday Market operates under), and The Myers Group (based out of Washington). Earlier in July, KCEDA became heavily involved in the grocery store project, placing primary focus on achieving 1) local ownership of the property through either a private or public buyer, and in a parallel path, 2) build a strong pool of grocers for the buyer(s) to select from. Highly motivated, KCEDA, with the help of its members and the county commissioners, together began executing a strategy for buying the property from the previous owners of the building, Value Rock Investment Partners (based out of Irvine, CA), ultimately leading to the county’s purchase of the building for $1.55M as of late August. Since this purchase, the building had been in escrow, but as of Monday, October 2nd, escrow officially closed. Helping facilitate a thorough and aggressive recruitment process for the county, in coordination with the commissioners, KCEDA was able to obtain interest in the property from the two candidates that are being considered.
Both of the grocers have submitted letters of intent, having the county once again enter a due-diligence phase. On Tuesday, Commissioner Donnie Boyd talked about the two grocers, confirming that Holiday Market has made an offer that could potentially allow them to actually profit versus breakeven on their original purchase of the property. Boyd states, “We’re still in the middle of contract negotiations. We believe they [Holiday Market] are a very good fit, but we haven’t done our due-diligence on them like we had with The Myers Group. The most important thing is that we have the right grocer, the right fit for the community.” Boyd also discussed that both candidates are in talks to have a pharmacy component to their operations, and that both also desire to make upgrades to the facility. Historically, KCEDA has often been recognized by its “traded-sector” emphasis in regards to the organization’s business recruitment program. However, KCEDA’s Business Development Officer, Rick Abel, of whom worked closely in initial negotiations, indicated that both their board and staff saw this particular project to be a worthy exception. Speaking about KCEDA’s interest in the project, Abel states, “While we do actively recruit larger manufacturing type businesses, something like this impacts the community. The process from when we started and getting to today just further confirms why it was important we get involved. It will offer good paying jobs, and will stimulate the downtown economy with creating access to both a grocery store and pharmacy. Those are fundamental parts of economic development, and as we continue to grow as an organization, we will look to structure our operations around addressing anything that is relevant to economic development.”
Although no grocer has been established yet, Abel sees the progress and current state of the project are markers of a major triumph for KCEDA and its community partners. Abel states, “This project is a really great example of what growth is possible in Klamath when local leadership works collaboratively.”
About the Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA)
Since 1975, KCEDA has reflected the best of private enterprise, responsibility and dedication. Its mission is to provide tailored recruitment and retention/expansion programs, new opportunities for jobs, and a diversified, value-added industrial base/expanded economic development climate in southern Oregon. Learn more at www.ChooseKlamath.com