Hyde Park Co-Op Shareholders Vote to Close Flagship Store

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 17, 2007 3:00PM

2007_12_coop_vote.jpgThe numbers to the left tell the story. Hyde Park Co-Op shareholders voted by a wide margin in favor of a buyout by the University of Chicago and close the store by the end of January.

Under terms of the proposal, which can be viewed here, Hyde Park Co-Op is absolved of the $1.2 million back rent it owes U of C on its 55th Street location, will pay a one-time payment of $1 million and be released of all other liability to Certified Grocers (the landlord of the Co-Op's shuttered 47th Street location), receive cash from the university and the new grocer slated to fill the Co-Op's space to pay off all other debts and have the opportunity for Co-Op employees to interview for jobs with the new grocer. It's a pretty generous offer, compared to the losing option, which was restructuring through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Co-Op, however, isn't going down just yet. Claiming that the shareholder vote is only "advisory", the Co-Op's board of directors is holding a meeting at 6 p.m. this evening to announce the vote results and determine how to proceed. Although we'd be hard-pressed to think that the board would reject the will of its shareholders, it still is a possibility. The meeting will be held in the Co-op's downstairs meeting room and is open to the public.