René Hardwick, Director of Public and Industry Relations at the National Onion Association, recently penned this update on one of the association’s newest ventures, that of building ownership. She provided us with a copy of her column, which we’re happy to share with our readers here. Thanks, René, and congrats to the NOA.
She wrote, “The continuing journey for the National Onion Association took a turn this summer with a new home and a new way of making history.
“For more than 30 years, the National Onion Association has been in one location, leasing space in a downtown Greeley, CO, office building. But today, the NOA has embarked on a new journey — ownership.
“On May 11, the NOA closed on a building in Eaton, CO, about nine miles north of Greeley in northern Colorado. The new building, an almost 100-year-old house with roughly the same square footage of the leased offices, will be the seventh location for the NOA since its inception in 1913.”
She continued, “`The executive board voted unanimously to purchase the property,’ said NOA President Doug Bulgrin of Wisconsin. ‘Now, the association will be building equity in a property rather than throwing it away on rent.’”
And, René said, “The board agreed to look into purchasing a building at last winter’s annual meeting. Executive Vice President Greg Yielding and Treasurer Lynn Fagerberg looked earnestly throughout Greeley to find a suitable location, but prices in this growing area are heavily inflated. Many options to buy never hit a bottom of less than $1 million. The NOA was able to buy this new building for about a tenth of that.”
“The building was built in 1919 as a house for management at the local sugar beet factory. The NOA is working with graduate students from Colorado State University to document and prepare a national register historic designation for the building.
“The building went through extensive renovation to not only bring it up to compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act, but also make it functional to house NOA offices. One memorable change to the building is in the front yard, through which the NOA sold commemorative bricks to members to line the front walking path to the door. That way, NOA members will share in this historic venture and literally set their names in stone as solid backers of the NOA. We’re calling it the New Foundations Fundraiser. Bricks (sizes 4×8 or 8×8) are still for sale (members only). Call Sharla Johnston at the office at (970) 353-5895 to order yours.”
René concluded, “One thing to note, is our address. Mail has been forwarded from our old address so far, but that will end soon. Our new address is 218 Oak Ave., Eaton, CO. 80615. Our phone number remains the same at (970) 353-5895.”