Originally published October 19, 2016 by Mark Antonation in the Denver Westword
A little over two years ago, a group of neighbors in northeast Denver put together a plan to open the Northeast Community Co-Op to serve the neighborhoods in and around Stapleton, Park Hill, East Colfax, Lowry, Montclair and north Aurora, an area that was largely a food desert. The board of the co-op, now called Nourish Community Market, has finally found a home for the project: The market is slated for a 10,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of an upcoming condo development called the Heights at Westerly Creek, at 2352 Dallas Street in Aurora.
That will put Nourish right across the street from the soon-to-open Stanley Marketplace — the original location that the board had hoped would house the co-op. Shifting timelines for both Stanley Marketplace and Nourish made that an unrealistic goal, but the new physical address is a big step in getting the market open.
The co-op currently has more than 750 member-owners and is planning a membership drive to push that number over 1,000. Membership fees are $200, and the co-op will also be offering non-voting shares to members who wish to invest additional money in the project, with a goal of raising $1.5 million in equity.
The condo complex is part of the planned Westerly Creek Village development, a city of Aurora urban-renewal project that butts up against the southeast edge of Stapleton, an area currently dominated by aging industrial and commercial buildings. Two other food co-ops are also in the works for metro Denver: the Westwood Food Co-op on Morrison Road, and the West Colfax Food Co-op, which has yet to announce a physical address.