TPSS Expansion/Municipal Lot Development
Update June 10, 2014
The deadline for submission of responses to the Request
for Proposals (RFP) for development of the municipal parking
lot adjacent to the Co-op was May 28. A total of seven proposals
were received from a variety of organizations from throughout
Takoma Park’s Department of Housing and Community Development
has begun a technical review of the submissions. The City has
the right to investigate specific development proposals, request
clarification of the contents of any proposal, require additional
information, explore proposed partnerships or financing options,
and begin preliminary negotiations with one or more developer
during this period. To the extent permitted by law, the City
will not disclose any proprietary or confidential material included
in the proposals. Only proposals that comply with all the objectives,
provisions and requirements of the RFP will be considered for
review. Once the review is completed, up to four groups may
be invited to present their proposals before the community and
the City Council.
TPSS has submitted a proposal that most likely differs from
the rest. Our plans incorporate the themes for development identified
by the Takoma Junction Task Force in 2012: Community, Localism,
Environment, and Heritage. While it is likely that many or all
of the other bidders have included high density housing units
where the parking lot now stands, we have focused on doubling
our retail square footage in order to increase our core service
to our community and customers by enabling us to purchase more
products from local farmers and businesses, offer a wider range
of products and price points, and provide more well-paying jobs
with a great benefits package. The development we are proposing
will bring more shoppers to the Junction not simply to take
advantage of our greater selections, but to visit our planned
wine and beer shop, a large, modern community gathering place,
a coffee shop or cafe, possibly a credit union, and other small,
local businesses that may have been looking for a home. All
will be located in a pleasant environment that encourages foot
traffic and invites shoppers and community members to linger.
The City’s internal review is expected to be completed in mid
to late summer with community presentations scheduled soon thereafter.
Until then, please continue to shop and support the TPSS Co-op
and think about what products and services you would like to
see offered in a larger store.
As an important part of our efforts to fulfill
our mission of promoting healthful living by offering wholesome
food, high quality products and community resources in a clean,
friendly cooperative grocery store that our members own, TPSS
management and Board have been considering the possibility of
expanding our store for quite a while.
We have been in our current building since1998.
Our current facility offers about 5500 square feet of selling
space. Food retailers often begin to think about expanding or
moving when annual sales reach $1000 per square foot. Our annual
sales far exceed that industry standard, and we would like to
double the retail space available to us.
Our goals for this undertaking are to:
Provide us with an opportunity
to offer a broader product mix, with a wider variety of price
Create a store that is committed
to responsible energy use and conservation,
Provide new space that will allow
us to sponsor regular community programs that will continue
to foster a strong Co-op/community relationship.
Last summer, TPSS commissioned a feasibility
study for our planned growth and expansion. The report presented
the pros and cons of several options:
Stay in our existing building
and expand eastward into the small parking lot.
Stay in our existing building
and expand westward into the municipal parking lot.
Leave our building and relocate
to a new building on the municipal lot or elsewhere.
Our efforts have taken on more urgency, as
the Takoma Park City Council issued a Request for Proposals
for the development of the municipal lot. It is vital to the
future of the Co-op for us to retain control of access to our
loading dock and to offer sufficient parking for our shoppers.
The Council is hoping to receive proposals that will act as
a stimulus to the commercial district and locally-owed, independent
businesses; improve the aesthetic appeal of the district; and
be contextually sensitive and environmentally sustainable. We
will be submitting one or more proposals that address the Council’s
goals while enabling us to realize our expansion dreams. To
support this initiative, we have created a capital reserve fund
of $500,000 and are committed to raising sufficient debt and
Please watch your newsletters, email blasts,
and our website for up-to-date information on this very important