We promised you an update and we have some very good news on our timeline.
We reported recently that ComEd, after months of approving a pole-mounted transformer as our source of power, reversed course and would require we find a location on-site to build a vault to house a transformer. Our concern with this plan was the time already lost to designing for a pole, as well as the long time needed to locate, design, and approve a vault.
Not to mention all that time going back to design would greatly slow our permit application process.
This is one of those difficult moments in our project where we can clearly see we have hired the right partners!
Our store designers at StoreMasters went full-speed investigating other possibilities and in very short order pitched an alternative to ComEd for which they've already given us a go-ahead!
The new plan lets us place a pad-mounted transformer on our site in the south-west corner of our parking lot. It's a space next to our backup generator that still allows us to pursue creating a walkway from Wilson Avenue into our parking lot. It's a great solution that is:
requires much less design work
costs us far less time
Our current approval from ComEd lets us proceed with finalizing our site drawings so we can submit them to the City for construction permits — in February instead of months later for the vault option.
There could be one small hitch. Pad-mounted and vault systems both require approval by the City's Office of Underground Coordination (OUC), and that CAN take up to a year. All our other work continues in parallel to this, so it's not likely to add much time to our project, but we won't know for sure until we have their approval.
So, next steps are:
Permit submission — in February
Permit approval — permit review times are averaging 120 days; our permit expeditor estimates approval within 6-12 weeks
Construction — 7-8 months
Once we have permits in hand, we'll be able to give a much firmer open date. For now though, all is good and moving forward!
Don't miss our recent video updates about our farm visits and product sourcing: