March Letter from the GM

Hey everybody, it’s Mike, your GM. As promised, we are continuing our efforts to be more transparent and keep everyone up to date what’s been happening with KCFC. My goal is to help member-owners better understand what’s going on behind the scenes, both with construction and other operational decisions that are being made.

FINAL PLANS APPROVED FROM L&I

Since the last email, we have made significant progress towards starting construction. The first major hurdle is that we got our plans back and approved from the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). This process has taken several months to complete and we are excited to move past that phase.


GCS AND SUBS: WHERE OUR LABOR COMES FROM


We are still in negotiations with our General Contractor, who is actively working with subcontractors to finish the bidding process for this project. The General Contractor is responsible for finding all subcontractors throughout construction, and overseeing the subcontractors who actually perform all the work on the job site. The process of finding these subcontractors and getting these bids is now in the final stages and the GC, and the next stage is for the GC to will provide those numbers to us so that we can review them and move toward active construction as quickly as possible.

Contracting has taken a really long time because we are looking to work specifically with subcontractors that are minority- and/or women-owned businesses. This supports KCFC’s commitment to the Co-op being a source of economic empowerment. Additionally, because we have received project funding from the City of Philadelphia, we are required to meet certain targets of minority- and women- ownership.

One of the major slowdowns we have faced to-date is that these contractors must be registered with the city of Philadelphia to count toward our goal, and in practice many are not (yet) registered. The Co-op is/will be taking an active role in getting these small businesses registered with the city if they aren’t so that they can take advantage of other projects in the city that have these same goals.

However, it’s not just about finding small businesses that meet these goals; it about finding businesses who work with projects of our size, and who have good reputations for doing quality work. Ensuring that the GC has selected quality subcontractors is an important part of our vetting process.

LIQUOR LICENSE


As many of you know (and it may be the reason you decided to join the Co-op) we have a liquor license and will be selling beer by the glass, the growler, or in six packs to go. This comes with its own unique set of challenges. The building has had a license in safe-keeping for a couple of years; however, the state (PLCB) frowns upon businesses holding onto licenses without using them, and imposes fines to encourage that licenses be put to use. KCFC is now working with a lawyer who specializes in PA liquor laws on the process to take our license out of safe-keeping, avoid penalty, and move it towards active use in the store later this year.

IN CLOSING


I thought it was important to share some of the background into these processes, so that you as member-owners can better understand the many facets of a project like this. Look for more details in the coming weeks, but until then, you can always reach me at gm@kcfc.coop with any questions or setup time to discuss any concerns in more detail.

Michael Richards
General Manager
gm@kcfc.coop

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