Dear Sprout! Supporters,
As some of you may have heard, the NEDCO board of directors decided to hand the reins of Sprout over to a new owner. The sale closed on Thursday, October 19th, and as supporters of NEDCO and/or downtown Springfield, we wanted to share this news with you as soon as possible. So here’s the scoop:
NEDCO is incredibly proud of Sprout – and all of the businesses, customers, and champions who have helped make it the fabulous place it is. We LOVE how much the community has embraced it and made it their own.
Sprout has also been a very big lift – one that has taken a lot of NEDCO’s resources and effort to make a reality; we’ve spent the better part of 7 years focused on redeveloping Sprout to be a vibrant cornerstone of downtown Springfield. And we feel like it’s worked! We’ve watched Sprout become a place that is truly part of the community, with plenty of momentum to continue to thrive and grow without continued subsidy from NEDCO.
So…as we did with many buildings in the Whiteaker neighborhood…we are passing Sprout into the supportive and capable hands of a new owner: Lutfi Thabet, of Thabet Investments.
Lutfi fell in love with Sprout, and he actually reached out to NEDCO to see if the board would ever consider selling it. After very careful consideration, the board decided that now was, indeed, the right time, and that Lutfi was the right buyer. He embraces our vision of the building, and plans to continue the basic operations of Sprout exactly as they are: the same businesses we all know and love…continued community events in the market hall…everything that has made Sprout what it is.
Sprout will always hold a unique place in NEDCO’s heart. The idea of selling it carries many mixed emotions for us – as I’m sure it does for many in our community. Sprout has been a labor of love and has been transformative in the lives of countless people, entrepreneurs, and the downtown area as a whole. And at the same time, NEDCO is a nonprofit with limited capacity; we know that if we want to continue developing other commercial buildings and/or affordable housing in Springfield, it will be easier to do that if we pass Sprout to its next owner and manager. We’re excited by the idea of watching Sprout continue to grow and thrive under new ownership, while we use our organizational capacity toward the next new projects.
Thank you, all, for your support of Sprout over the last seven years. I look forward to seeing you there for the next seven, and beyond!
All my best,
Executive Director I NEDCO I Community LendingWorks
If you would like to reach out to the new owners, please call 541-344-5983.
Register Guard article on the Sprout! update: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/36063737-75/sprout-a-springfield-hub-for-new-businesses-to-sell-to-local-businessman.html.csp