Gentle Strength Cooperative, the organic food market in downtown Tempe, has signed a contract to sell its property.
After nearly 20-years at the downtown location, store management is hoping that a move to an area with more residential housing and a building with new equipment will boost sales. General manager Don Downs said strong competition from other organic food stores has cost the co-op in recent years.
He would not disclose the details of the sale, but said the store is looking to relocate on Apache Boulevard, between McClintock Drive and Rural Road. Downs said the deal will not be final until it clears escrow.
"We're still in the first 90-days, and anything can happen," he said. This marks the second time in three years the coop intended to sell its property at 234 W. University Drive. Plans to sell to Target were scrapped in 2001 after the retail giant backed out with one day left on a 100-day grace period. If the deal is finalized, Downs said the store would remain at its current location for up to a year.
"The loss of that business will be felt downtown because they offered a unique product to its members," said Stan Nicpon, president of the Downtown Tempe Community.