Habitat for Humanity building bigger ReStore in new location

Projections suggest a new ReStore in a more visible location could double existing revenue within five years, allowing Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne to cover all of its operating costs and to use all donations to build homes for families.

The local Habitat chapter plans to break ground on the new ReStore at 11 a.m. Tuesday at 4747 Lima Road, the former site of the Golden Corral restaurant at the southwest corner of Lima and Production roads. The public is welcome.

The announcement comes during the local Habitat chapter’s celebration of its 30th year and construction of its 200th home. The Christian ministry works to provide affordable housing to people with limited financial resources in Allen and Huntington counties.

The local Habitat chapter currently builds about 10 homes a year, but that could grow with the increased revenue from the new ReStore, Justin Berger, local Habitat CEO, said during an interview early this month.

Habitat’s ReStore, which currently is at 3837 N. Wells St. in Fort Wayne, generates revenue for ministry operations by accepting donations of new and gently used construction and home improvement materials and items and then reselling them at discounted prices. The store’s inventory typically includes furniture, appliances, building supplies, household items, lighting and more.

Habitat paid $1.3 million for the land for the new ReStore in March 2016, and staff have been working to raise about $3 million needed to complete the project, which has a total cost of $4 million to $4.5 million, Berger said. The nonprofit organization has raised about $2 million so far, which is enough to start construction, he said.

The new ReStore will contain 27,000 square feet, which is nearly twice as large as the current ReStore, he said. When it opens in early 2018, the building will be the first new construction for a ReStore in Indiana and one of the largest – if not the largest – ReStores in the state.

The new store size and design will allow Habitat to better display and sell items, Berger said. Habitat also plans to offer a larger inventory of items, including some the organization may purchase for resale at the ReStore.

The new location also will give the ReStore much greater visibility than its current site on Wells Street, Berger said.

Traffic counts indicate about 42,000 cars per day pass by the new location, while about 8,000 pass by the Wells Street store, said Megan Hubartt, local Habitat chapter communications director.

Projections suggest that, within five years, revenue from the new ReStore will double to $1.5 million annually from the current $750,000, Hubartt said.

The $1.5 million would cover the ministry’s operating costs, making it self-sustaining and able to use all donations for building homes, Berger said.

The local Habitat chapter currently has 27 families in its program waiting for a home, he said, and it must turn away about 40 families a month who want to apply for participation in the program. <br>

<center> New ReStore planned </center><br>

WHAT: Groundbreaking for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne’s new ReStore, which is expected to open in early 2018.

WHEN: 11 a.m. Tuesday

WHERE: 4747 Lima Road, at Lima and Production roads <br>

<center> 200TH HOME EVENT </center><br>

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne will celebrate construction of its 200th home by framing the walls of the home with volunteer help in one-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29 in the Indiana Michigan Power Center Plaza at Wayne and Calhoun streets. About 20 to 30 volunteers will work per one-hour shift. Contact Jamee Lock at jlock@habitatgfw.com to reserve a spot before June 28. For more information, go to habitatgfw.com. <br>

<center> HELPING OUT </center><br>

In celebration of its 200th home build, the Fort Wayne-area Habitat for Humanity chapter invites people to donate $200 or any other amount. You can donate at https://fortwaynehabitat.org/200th-build by clicking the donate button, or by texting habitatgfw to 50155. Donation buckets also will be available June 29 at the I & M plaza during the special build event there.