GreenFraud on Small Business

GreenFraud Claim

  • Theresa Greenfield says she would stand up to giant corporations and help Iowa small businesses and workers

The Facts

  • Greenfield ran a real estate company that wanted to clear the way for a big box store so she kicked out mom and pop businesses.
  • Greenfield personally signed the notices that were sent to the longtime tenants.
  • Longtime tenants were notified by Greenfield that they only had two months to move out.
  • Theresa Greenfield put big corporations first and kicked Iowa small businesses to the curb.

Greenfield Served As The President Of Colby Interests, A Windsor Heights-Based Real Estate Firm

Beginning In March 2012, Greenfield Served As The President Of Colby Interests. (Theresa Greenfield, LinkedIn, Accessed 4/13/20)

(Theresa Greenfield, LinkedIn, Accessed 4/13/20)

Colby Interests Is A Family-Owned Firm That “Has Continued To Expand, And Current Holdings Cover A Broad Spectrum Of Commercial Office, Retail Buildings And Development Land.” “Charles Iowa Colby formed Colby Interests in 1947. The family-owned business has continued to expand, and current holdings cover a broad spectrum of commercial office, retail buildings and development land.” (Colby Interests, Accessed 2/5/19)

In Her Role As The President Of Colby Interests, Greenfield Also Manages The Real Estate Holdings Of Seven Colby Family Trusts. “Colby Interests, which was founded in 1947 by Charles I. Colby and now manages the holdings of the Charles I. and Ruth Colby Trust and the six additional trusts that have spun off of it, is located in a commercial building that was built in 1937 on University Avenue in Windsor Heights. … Today, there are seven family trusts whose real estate holdings are managed by Colby Interests. Family members cannot be employed by the operating company, which is led by Theresa Greenfield.” (Kent Darr, “The Colby Family Moves On,” Business Record, 8/22/14)

In September 2015, Greenfield-Led Colby Interests Announced Plans To Redevelop Its Apple Valley Shopping Center In Windsor Heights, With A New Aldi Store As The Anchor

In September 2015, Greenfield Announced That Colby Interests Planned To Redevelop Its Apple Valley Shopping Center Property In Windsor Heights With An Aldi Store As Its Anchor. “Discount grocer Aldi Inc. will anchor a proposed revamped retail center in Windsor Heights. The store will be located in the new Midtown Center at the corner of 73rd Street and University Avenue where Apple Valley shopping center now sits. Owner Colby Interests plans to raze the strip mall and construct three buildings that will make up the new retail development. The 18,275-square-foot Aldi store will be the first retailer to open, said Theresa Greenfield, president of Colby Interests. The remaining retail spaces will be built as leases are signed, she said. Bays will average 1,400 square feet, but they could be combined to accommodate larger tenants. Tenants now in the building where Aldi will be located include Golf Headquarters, Rookies, Stix Pool Hall and Fitness Sports. They all must move by Sept. 30. Former tenant Windsor Clock and Watch has already relocated to Clive and Maria Grocery and Gift has temporarily relocated to the east Apple Valley building. Demolition of the west building is expected this year, with construction on the new retail center next year. Aldi said the new store in Windsor Heights would open late in 2016.” (Patt Johnson, “Aldi To Open Windsor Heights Store,” Des Moines Register, 9/11/15)

  • Aldi Is A Germany-Based Grocery Chain That Has Operated In Iowa Since 1976. “Founded by the Albrecht family, the first ALDI store opened in 1961 in Germany, making ALDI the first discounter in the world. Headquartered in Batavia, Illinois, ALDI now has more than 1,900 stores across 36 states, employs over 25,000 people and has been steadily growing since opening its first US store in Iowa in 1976.” (Aldi History, Aldi, Accessed 4/14/20)

Greenfield Said Colby Was Also Pursuing Other New Tenants For The Redeveloped Shopping Center. “Greenfield said Colby has been pursuing new tenants for the development, which could include national and local restaurants, clothing stores and neighborhood services. Some existing tenants may stay, but the higher rents may ‘not fit into their business plans,’ she said.” (Patt Johnson, “Aldi To Open Windsor Heights Store,” Des Moines Register, 9/11/15)

  • Greenfield: The Higher Rents May “Not Fit Into [Existing Tenants’] Business Plans.” (Patt Johnson, “Aldi To Open Windsor Heights Store,” Des Moines Register, 9/11/15)

In November 2015, The Windsor Heights City Council Killed Greenfield’s Plan To Build The Aldi Store

In November 2015, The Windsor Heights City Council Voted Unanimously To Kill Greenfield’s Plan To Build An Aldi Store After Residents Questioned The Need For Another Grocery Store In That Area. “A proposed Aldi grocery store will not become a reality after the Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Wednesday evening to deny its permit. Windsor Heights officials shot down a permit request for the store at the old Apple Valley strip mall on 73rd Street and University Avenue. One board member said after listening to community members, the plan ultimately did not match the community’s vision for Windsor Heights. Back in August, the City Council approved the property management’s site plan for the Apple Valley Shopping Center to be renovated into Midtown Center.” (Rose Heaphy, “Grocery Store Struck Down By Unanimous Board Decision,” CBS-Des Moines, 11/19/15)

  • The Aldi Store Would Have Been Located Across The Street From A Sam’s Club, A Walmart, And A Hy-Vee – All Big Box Grocery Stores. “The Aldi would have been the fourth grocery store within less than a mile, with Hy-Vee, Walmart and Sam’s Club across the street. Aldi Vice President Matt Lilla released this statement: ‘We are disappointed by the Board of Adjustment’s decision, and we plan to evaluate our options in an effort to identify the best solution for our customers and our businesses.” (Rose Heaphy, “Grocery Store Struck Down By Unanimous Board Decision,” CBS-Des Moines, 11/19/15)

After The City Council Rejected The Aldi Store Plan, Greenfield And Colby Interests Moved Forward With A Backup Plan To Redevelop The Shopping Center

After Greenfield’s Aldi Store Plan Was Torpedoed By The City Council, Colby Interests Decided To Renovate The Apple Valley Shopping Center Instead. “It turns out neither side will get what it wanted. With the Aldi plan torpedoed, Colby is going to renovate the existing shopping center. The firm plans to update the facade and the landscaping, adding floor-to-ceiling windows and replacing concrete columns with steel structures. The shopping center will have 27,298 square feet available to lease. Colby is working with NAI Optimum to find tenants.” (Joel Aschbrenner, “Walnut Street Designers ‘Tease’ With Parking,” Des Moines Register, 5/13/16)

Greenfield Stated That Renovations To The Shopping Center Would Clean It Up And Improve Its Appearance For New Prospective Tenants. “Colby Interests hopes to start construction next week on its backup plan for the rejuvenation of Apple Valley shopping center at 73rd Street and University Avenue, President Theresa Greenfield said. Rather than a wholesale clean sweep and reconstruction of the Apple Valley property as originally planned, Colby will launch a major rehabilitation that will begin at what Greenfield called the west building, a 22,000-square-foot structure that is located near the busy intersection. It is a building that Colby had hoped to demolish to make way for an Aldi’s grocery store that would have served as an anchor for the shopping center. However, the city of Windsor Heights nixed that plan and Colby Interests moved on to plan B. Colby plans to replace concrete columns with steel-framed signboards, add floor-to-ceiling windows, install grease traps to accommodate restaurant users, re-shingle the roof, replace sewer lines and a sprinkler system, all in an effort to provide future tenants with clean, wide-open spaces that can be structured to fit their needs. ‘We want it to be good to go for another 20 years,’ Greenfield said. The revamped plans will not add the estimated $10 million in taxable value that Colby envisioned when it submitted a site plan for city approval more than a year ago, but it will improve the appearance and bones of the structure. ‘We’re really going to clean it up,’ Greenfield said. Once tenants are found for the west building, Colby Interests will consider plans for the remainder of the property, Greenfield said.” (Kent Darr, “Colby Interests Has A Plan B For Apple Valley,” Business Record, 5/11/16)

Greenfield Personally Signed The Notices That Were Sent To The Longtime Tenants Requiring Them to Move-Out

VIDEO: In August 2015, CBS-Des Moines Ran A Story About Small Businesses In The Apple Valley Shopping Center Being Sent Eviction Notices, Including A Clip Of One Of The Eviction Notices That Is Signed By Theresa Greenfield. (Marcus Mcintosh, “Businesses Learn They Have 2 Months To Move Out,” CBS-Des Moines, 8/4/15)

(Marcus Mcintosh, “Businesses Learn They Have 2 Months To Move Out,” CBS-Des Moines, 8/4/15)

The Redevelopment Plan “Blindsided” Longtime Tenants, Who Were Notified By Greenfield That They Had Two Months To Move Out

The Redevelopment Plan “Blindsided” Multiple Longtime Tenants Who Were Forced To Move Their Businesses Elsewhere. “The redevelopment will happen in stages. Apple Valley’s west building will be demolished and redeveloped first. The east building will be redeveloped later based on the ability to secure new tenants, said Theresa Greenfield, president of Colby Interests. Tenants in the older west building include Golf Headquarters, Maria Grocery and Gift, Fitness Sports, and Windsor Clock and Watch. They must move out by Sept. 30. ‘A lot of tenants were blindsided by the fact they were going to have to move,’ said Gary Updegraff, owner of Golf Headquarters. The project, though, has been in the works for months.” (Joel Aschbrenner, “Apple Valley Demolition Will Displace Retailers,” Des Moines Register, 8/12/15)

In August 2015, Tenants Received Eviction Notices Signed By Greenfield That They Had Two Months To Vacate The Premises. “Two weeks ago, shops in the lower level were notified they had to be out by September 30th. Steve Bobenhouse, of Fitness Sports, Anders Olson, of The Rookie, and Gary Updegraff, of Golf Headquarters, learned the fate of their businesses two weeks ago. Steve Bobenhouse, of Fitness Sports, Anders Olson, of The Rookie, and Gary Updegraff, of Golf Headquarters, learned the fate of their businesses two weeks ago. ‘It puts us under a lot of pressure. We have a lot of inventory in this store to move. It will be monumental,’ said Updegraff. All three business owners say they’ve known for a while their building was the first phase of what will be the new Midtown Center. ‘I was hoping to get through the end of the year and maybe move in the spring. So it came a little sooner than I expected,’ said Olson. Some businesses have already packed up and moved, but for Olson, who’s been in the location for a decade, Updegraff, who’s been there more than two decades and Bobenhouse, who’s been there for three decades, packing up and leaving is not easy.” (Marcus Mcintosh, “Businesses Learn They Have 2 Months To Move Out,” CBS-Des Moines, 8/4/15)

  • Gary Upegraff, Owner Of Golf Headquarters: “It Puts Us Under A Lot Of Pressure. We Have A Lot Of Inventory In This Store To Move. It Will Be Monumental.” “’It puts us under a lot of pressure. We have a lot of inventory in this store to move. It will be monumental,’ said Updegraff.” (Marcus Mcintosh, “Businesses Learn They Have 2 Months To Move Out,” CBS-Des Moines, 8/4/15)
  • Anders Olson, Owner Of The Rookie: “I Was Hoping To Get Through The End Of The Year And Maybe Move In The Spring.” “’I was hoping to get through the end of the year and maybe move in the spring. So it came a little sooner than I expected,’ said Olson.” (Marcus Mcintosh, “Businesses Learn They Have 2 Months To Move Out,” CBS-Des Moines, 8/4/15)

Many Of The Tenants Relocated Because The Rent Increases Imposed By Greenfield And Colby Interests Were “Too High.”  “Updegraff said he plans to move Golf Headquarters to a new location, but he can’t yet disclose where. He considered staying at Midtown Crossing but decided it would be too expensive. Fitness Sports has been at Apple Valley for 31 years. Owner Steve Bobenhouse said he is moving the running store to the Swanson Depot shopping center in Clive. ‘We tried to stay here but the rent is just going to be too high in the new building and we couldn’t find anywhere else in Windsor Heights, otherwise we would have stayed,’ he said.” (Joel Aschbrenner, “Apple Valley Demolition Will Displace Retailers,” Des Moines Register, 8/12/15)

  • According To Fitness Sports Owner Steve Bobenhouse, “We Tried To Stay Here But The Rent Is Just Going To Be Too High In The New Building And We Couldn’t Find Anywhere Else In Windsor Heights, Otherwise We Would Have Stayed…” “Owner Steve Bobenhouse said he is moving the running store to the Swanson Depot shopping center in Clive. ‘We tried to stay here but the rent is just going to be too high in the new building and we couldn’t find anywhere else in Windsor Heights, otherwise we would have stayed,’ he said.” (Joel Aschbrenner, “Apple Valley Demolition Will Displace Retailers,” Des Moines Register, 8/12/15)

At Least Six Tenants Of The Apple Valley Shopping Center Moved Due To Greenfield’s Redevelopment Plan

In September 2015, The Des Moines Register Interviewed Tenants Of The Apple Valley Shopping Center And Found That Six Of Them Were Moving Their Businesses Due To Greenfield’s Redevelopment Plan. “In the meantime, several businesses are moving to new locations in early October: Fitness Sports is moving to 8810 Swanson Blvd. in Clive. The size of the new store is about the same as its spot in Apple Valley, but it will seem bigger to customers because more of the space will be devoted to merchandise and less to storage, Bobenhouse said. ‘This store will be nicer, more contemporary,’ he said. ‘It’s got higher ceilings and is much cleaner looking.’ He expects to open in the new location Oct. 5. Making Waves hair salon will move to 8365 University Ave., Suite A, in Clive on Thursday, said Bev Reinier, who co-owns the shop with Molly Buss. The new salon will be about twice the size of their spot in Apple Valley, which will close Saturday. ‘We’re hoping to add three extra stations,’ Reinier said. Rent in the rebuilt Midtown Center was too expensive for Reinier and many of the other tenants. ‘Luckily we found somewhere that had been a salon,’ she said. The Rookie sports card and memorabilia shop is moving to 9992 Swanson Blvd. in Clive, about two miles from Apple Valley. Like Making Waves, owner Anders Olson will close his shop Saturday and reopen Oct. 1. He is doubling his space, which he will use to expand his card offerings, memorabilia and autographs, he said. ‘I’ve known about it for a while. It will work out for me because I found a good spot because where I am now is pretty tight right now,’ he said. ‘And this is a good thing for Windsor Heights. It’s a real nice neighborhood and rebuilding the center will bring new business to Windsor Heights.’ Golf Headquarters owner Gary Updegraff will close his golf shop Wednesday and reopen Nov. 27, which is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But the location of the new store is still in the works, he said. Golf Headquarters, which was formerly called Nevada Bobs, has been in Apple Valley for 26 years. Like other tenants ‘we probably won’t go too far,’ Updegraff said. ‘We are looking forward to the move. This building is getting old and tired.’ He is confident he’ll find the right spot to reopen the golf store. ‘There is so much retail space available out there,’ Updegraff said. Maria Groceries and Gifts, an ethnic food store, will temporarily relocate to Apple Valley’s eastern building for the time being, said owner Joseph Cheruvillil. ‘We started here 13 years ago and we have a good customer base here,’ he said. Eventually, the store will move into one of the new Midtown Center buildings in a space about the same size, he said. Windsor Clock and Watch owner Ron Goemann moved the repair and retail business from Apple Valley to 2035 N.W. 100th St. in Clive at the end of August.” (Patt Johnson, “Ousted Apple Valley Tenants Find New Homes,” Des Moines Register, 9/28/15)

  • Fitness Sports Owner Steve Bobenhouse: “Anytime You Move A Business, I Think It’s Tough.” “Stores, such as Fitness Sports, had to move out with just a few months’ notice. ‘Anytime you move a business, I think it’s tough,’ Fitness Sports owner Steve Bobenhouse said. The first proposed store for the center was an Aldi grocery.” (Rose Heaphy, “Grocery Store Struck Down By Unanimous Board Decision,” CBS-Des Moines, 11/19/15)

Greenfield’s Redevelopment Plan Resulted In The Permanent Closure Of One Small Business


The Stix Pool Hall And Bar Closed And Did Not Reopen. “Stix pool hall and bar closed Sept. 23 and will not relocate. The bar is owned by Denny Arthur.” (Patt Johnson, “Ousted Apple Valley Tenants Find New Homes,” Des Moines Register, 9/28/15)

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