Creekside Co-op, the Elkins Park grocery that closed in December, has sold its building to a company that plans to open a farmers market, the co-op said Wednesday.
The new owner, EP Village 1 LLC, bought the building on High School Road last week for $825,000, the co-op board wrote in an email to members. Creekside said it received just one offer that met the co-op’s minimum criteria for unsecured debt after listing the building for sale for months.
The sale allows Creekside to pay off its secured creditors, the co-op said. Unsecured creditors will likely receive no more than 2 cents on the dollar, “given our extremely limited remaining assets,” board members wrote. The co-op said it has sold its equipment, too.
“Bankruptcy remained an option until the end, but the board preferred a sale outside of bankruptcy and are happy to have this outcome,” Creekside said in the email.
While food co-ops don’t have to turn a profit, they typically aren’t the least expensive places to shop. The locally owned suburban grocery store couldn’t survive in an area peppered with major grocery chains. An Acme, Aldi, Giant, Save-A-Lot, ShopRite, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods are all within short drives of Elkins Park.
EP Village 1, which could not be reached for comment, plans to create a farmers market inside the building, according to Creekside. Vendors include a deli and a seller of local beer, wine, and spirits.
“With the sale of the building we accomplished our two objectives: Pay off our secured creditors and sell the building to a buyer who plans to use it in a way that will enhance and benefit the Elkins Park community,” board members wrote. “We are confident that the new owner is working in the best interest of our community.”
Neighbors created Creekside to fill a void left by the 2002 closure of Ashbourne Market, a local hub. They came up with the co-op idea during a 2008 meeting at a local library, and eventually secured loans and built a membership list.