The Bella’s Market at 7670 Fifth St. in Wellington is expected to be sold in the next three weeks, owner Sam Mancini said.
The Wellington store, and a second Bella’s in Gypsum, will remain open until the sale is complete. Mancini said in a press release that he and the buyer will make a joint announcement when the deal closes.
“Obviously I’m excited about the outstanding news of the pending sale,” said Wellington Mayor Jack Brinkhoff. “If we can get a new operator and get our shelves filled, that will be a great thing for the community. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the deal will go through.”
The Wellington Board of Trustees and the Larimer County Commissioners approved a tax waiver for Mancini in June 2012 as an incentive for the store to stay open. In the agreement, Bella’s promised to operate the grocery for five years in exchange for waiving 2013 and 2014 property taxes, which at the time amounted to about $49,000 per year. Wellington’s share of that is $13,000 with the county and the school district accounting for the other $36,000.
The agreement didn’t state the terms of operation or specify the quality and level of inventory that the store should stock.
Panhandle Co-op owned the store until 2012. Panhandle operated Main Street Market for five years but, after announcing the sale to Mancini, said the store did not make a profit in any of those years.