Habitat for Humanity of Delaware and Union Counties will soon be upgrading its ReStore location. Previously located on Curtis Street in Delaware, the nonprofit will be moving the store to the Delaware Square Shopping Center at 1161 Columbus Pike (U.S. Route 23).
This past Saturday marked the final day of operation for the ReStore on Curtis Street.
“It’s really been a long time coming,” said Todd Miller, the executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Delaware and Union Counties. “We’ve been searching over the years for new locations and hadn’t found the right place at the right time. Finally, that opportunity came to be this past year when the Metro Fitness location opened up.”
Miller said the new location is double the size of the current building at about 14,000 square feet. Size had become a significant issue for them, he said, with the last couple of years becoming very crowded at the Curtis Street location.
He added the previous location has been “tucked away” on Curtis Street and has been only a destination location with not a lot of drive-by traffic. Miller said he expects a significant increase in foot traffic at the new location, given the amount of traffic along U.S. Route 23.
“We are excited about both (the added space and foot traffic),” Miller said. “The increase in traffic will help move product quicker as well.”
The Habitat for Humanity website states its ReStore locations “are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations that accept donations (new and gently used furniture, appliances, home goods, building materials and more) and sell home improvement items to the public at a fraction of the retail price.”
As for the Curtis Street location, it will not go away entirely. Miller said the local Habitat for Humanity offices will remain in the building, giving them additional office space, which he said has also been needed.
Donations for the ReStore can still be taken to the current location Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. up until the end of May. When the new location opens, donations can be taken to the drop-off location around the back of the building, which Miller said will feature a large awning and will be well lit.
Miller added the hope is for an early June opening of the new ReStore, although he said there is still a lot of work yet to do if that timeframe is going to be possible. He said volunteers to help with the move will be critical to how soon the new location can open.
Hours of operation are expected to expand with the new location, Miller said. However, he said those hours have not been settled yet as the move is the first priority.
With the move, Miller believes it will be beneficial to be located next to the Goodwill store, which he called a “great complement,” so bargain hunters can hit both places at the same time.
As a whole, Miller said the Delaware Square Shopping Center is experiencing a rebirth. He said two other businesses in the shopping center are expanding as well, and with the addition of the ReStore, he believes the center will be at full capacity for the first time in quite a while.
“It’s definitely seeing a big resurgence, and we’re excited to be a part of that,” Miller said. “I think it’s a southern gateway to the city of Delaware.”
He added, “Obviously, it’s a big leap of faith for our organization. But we’re confident that it’s going to pay off.”
For years, the ReStore has paid for all administrative costs for the local Habitat for Humanity branch, which Miller said has allowed them to boast that all dollars donated go to building or repairing affordable homes. He said the goal is to continue being able to cover all those administrative costs, while hopefully being able to say the ReStore builds a house or two each year as well.
As much as anything, Miller said the ReStore’s ability to keep so many resources from being wasted and ending up in landfills was a source of pride for the organization.
“The amount of material we have kept out of the landfills over the years is something we’re very proud of and something we hope grows in our new location with the increased visibility,” he said.
Miller continued to stress the importance of volunteers, not only for the move but when the ReStore opens. He said the majority of volunteering takes place in the ReStore, and with the added space, the need will grow. Anyone interested in volunteering their time can visit www.habitatdelawareunion.com or call 740-363-9950.
“It’s going to take it all — volunteers, customers, and donors — to make our new venture as successful as we’ve been on Curtis Street,” Miller said. “But we have faith that it will all come together.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.