Clark’s Market Expansion Underway / Telluride, CO

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After being delayed for several years, the long awaited Clark’s Market expansion project in Telluride is now underway.

Crews broke ground on the project earlier this month. The expansion will add significant square footage to one of area’s few grocery stores.

According to Clark’s Market President Tom Clark Jr., the project will add around 6,700 square feet to the existing store on the west end of Telluride off Colorado Avenue. He said the project will allow the store to carry a wider assortment of goods and provide better service to its customers.

“We’re really excited about it,” Clark said. “The expansion area is going to allow for more perishable areas, so produce is going to have a much much larger selection, and it’s the same thing for the bakery and the deli. They’re going to have much more area to work in, and more space for products to bring in and display.”

The expansion represents the end of a long process to grow and renovate the store.

The project was first approved by the town in 2007 after three years of negotiating and tweaking the plans, which were contentious with neighbors and others. The project was then put off in 2010 when the town granted it a three-year extension.

The current expansion is smaller than the 12,000-square-foot, three-story plan originally proposed.

Clark said he expects everything will be complete at the end of December. The new expansion will utilize space in an existing parking lot next to the store. And though the plan for the project includes a renovation of the current store, Clark added that a big part of the project is keeping the store open during construction.

“We will not have a closed day, we will remain open throughout this entire thing,” Clark said. “Once they finish the new space, we will set up a temporary store in there while they renovate the old space.  Eventually we will combine the two and have the full market. At no point will we have closed or have diminished products. That’s our No. 1 goal as we go through this.”

Once complete, the old part of the store will still be the main area for groceries and the new section will house space for things like an expanded cheese section, baked goods and more.

And with the expansion there will be improvements to the store’s current refrigeration systems. Clark said the new system will use a fraction of the power that the current system uses and the stores lighting will be upgraded to LEDs.

“I think it’ll be great for the community, we’re striving to provide many more items so that we can be even more competitive with the large stores in Montrose,” Clark said. “Our goal is to be the community’s market for all their needs, and I think this is going to be a big stride for us to be that store for everyone.”

By Collin McRann