URBANA — The building that houses the Salt & Light grocery store and other tenants in Urbana is for sale, but the nonprofit has no plans to leave.
A real-estate listing for the property was posted this week listing it for sale for $2.175 million.
“Our intent is to remain here,” said Nathan Montgomery, the executive director of Salt & Light. “Ideally, we would be a tenant from whoever purchases the property.”
Niemann Foods currently owns the 62,074-square-foot shopping center, which used to house a County Market and now includes Salt & Light, Global Smoke & Vape, First Wok, Check ‘n Go and Charly’s Sunnycrest Salon.
Niemann Foods spokesman Gerry Kettler declined to comment.
Salt & Light added a second location there in 2017 with a lease-to-purchase agreement but last year announced a $450,000 fundraising campaign to help it get caught up from the initial outlay for the store at 1819 S. Philo Road.
“We already changed (the agreement) based on our financial situation last year,” Montgomery said.
The fundraising “helped to alleviate some of that pressure, but we’re not in a position to move forward in purchasing the property,” he said.
Whoever buys the property will ultimately get to decide whether Salt & Light gets to stay.
“We would like to stay here,” Montgomery said. “Obviously, should new ownership not want to retain us as a tenant, then that would be a completely different issue. But as of right now, that is not a concern we have operationally.”
Since it opened in 2017 in Urbana, Montgomery said the location has served Salt & Light well.
“It’s doing great. Operationally, we’ve been doing pretty good for a while,” he said.
Unlike the Champaign location, the Urbana location is more a grocery store than a thrift shop.
Because of that, it’s been able to remain open during the stay-at-home order.
“We’ve seen a pretty significant increase in grocery sales but an equally significant decrease in thrift sales because we’re not promoting or pushing that right now and it’s not something people are interested in,” Montgomery said.
It also has reduced hours, encourages social distancing, added barriers between cashiers and customers and added a hand sanitizer stand.
And some employees were laid off, he said.
“But we’re hanging in there and trying to serve the community as best we can,” he said.