Jones General Store will not remain in its location on College Avenue due to a rent increase.
Co-owner Louie Moschetti said he cannot relocate the store.
“I can’t move to Pearl or Basemar,” Moschetti said. “There is nothing large enough to accommodate my store.”
Local developer Michael Boyers will redevelop the building in which Jones is located, along with the building next to it. The two buildings will be demolished and reconstructed into three stories.
According to Moschetti, four retail stores will populate the first floor, and 13 apartment units will sit on the floors above.
Jones’ employees learned of the rent increase around late June. However, the date they needed to move out by was unclear. This situation created a difficult work environment, Moschetti said.
“I have no clue, I don’t know if I should restock or close out my store,” Moschetti said before learning of the Nov. 1 deadline to move out. “I have signs made for total store liquidation, but I don’t know when to put those up.”
Manager Steve Persson said he was glad to learn of the move-out date.
“At least we’re not getting jerked around,” Persson said.
Persson said he was not looking for other jobs because the store’s closing date was unclear. Now that it is determined, he said he might go back to school.
“I might go to school, medical field, become an MRI tech, study ultrasound, something like that,” Persson said.
According to Moschetti, Jones General Store and Camera began on Pearl Street as Jones Drug in 1902. In 1960, it moved to its current location on the Hill, and four years ago Moschetti and his brother renamed it Jones General Store and Camera.
Breana Prince, a senior integrative physiology major, said she is upset about the store’s upcoming closure.
“That’s a bummer. That sucks. I’m glad I’m a senior,” Prince said. “Jones is kind of what you think of when you think of the Hill.”
Prince isn’t the only one who is disappointed to see the store close. Over 150 people have signed the petition To Save Jones Store, which is available to sign at Snarf’s Sub Shop located next to Jones.
“We, the undersigned, believe Jones Store to be a vital community resource and call upon The City of Boulder and the Boulder Building Department to withdraw any permits that have been issued and to prevent the re-development of the building pending further review,” according to the petition. “We request that the city do a full review and impact study prior to allowing this project to go forward.”
According to the petition, some questions posed were: “Do we really need 13 more apartments or condominiums right there at the corner, at the gateway to the university campus from the Hill?” and “What kind of business would be able to make enough money to sustain the higher rent?”
Boyers, the developer behind the building’s upcoming changes, could not be reached for response.
Michael Monroe is the 29-year-old general manager of Thunderbird Burgers and BBQ, one of the businesses affected by the redevelopments.
He said he is doubtful the businesses that open in the new development will be able to afford the high rent.
“You get business eight months a year, and a third of it you run into the red. It will be interesting to see what these businesses will do,” Monroe said. “Because if they think they’re going to come in here and make money, they are sadly mistaken.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jon Tattum at Jonathan.Tattum@colorado.edu.