Fortified with grants of $25,000 and $75,000, respectively from the Gund
Foundations, Habitat for Humanity
will be opening the area's second ReStore location this spring at 4601 Northfield Road.
Similar to the existing ReStore at 2110 West 110th
Street, the North Randall location will sell a mix of new and used furniture, appliances, housewares and construction materials. The new location is adjacent to a number of discount retail outlets as well as a Salvation Army thrift store, but ReStore director Matt Haren feels confident that the venture will add a new dimension to the existing competition.
"I think we're bringing in that uniqueness of furniture and building materials and household wares," he says.
The new 22,000-square-foot space requires some updates. The work is being financed by the grant money and will include flooring repair, new restrooms, a delivery door and a new employee/volunteer lunchroom to accommodate the planned staff of five and diverse volunteer pool. ReStore attracts volunteers through organizations that cater to the disabled, low-income and disadvantaged such as Bridges Rehabilitation Services
, Towards Employment
The new site, which formerly housed a Unique Thrift outlet, will feature a 16,000-square-foot showroom and the same policies, product mix and layout as the successful West Side store, which turns around its inventory in a brisk 90 days.
"We're going to try and mimic the same philosophy and culture we have here and transport it over to the east side," says Haren. One of the reasons the formula works is that it's a win-win-win, for customers, workers and even the folks supplying all the merchandise.
"The donor population sees us as being able to move stuff into the community in both a recycling aspect and repurposing aspect," says Haran, "but also in taking those proceeds and applying them to our mission of putting families into homes."
The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for April 2. Haren hopes the day marks a new partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the North Randall community, as well as that entire southeast quadrant of the county.
"From our perspective," he says, "it's a community center. The community will shape what we're going to be all about."