Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity is renovating a vacant building to open a headquarters and ReStore for the affiliate. The retail plaza at 1006 S. Arch was generously donated by Marty and Margee Pagnucco and is located on a main corridor through our community. The plaza will be named after the late Judith Tolerton, who was a devoted supporter of our mission and our affiliate. We are excited to make a difference in this rapidly developing area.
We are anticipating the ReStore, a retail operation that sells donated furniture, appliances, and household items to raise funds for our construction program, will generate enough profits by year three to build an additional home, or do several rehabilitation or repair projects. The remainder of the building will be our offices and a space where we can offer our education classes. Every Habitat Homeowner completes financial education and learns about the homeownership process and responsibilities and we hope to eventually offer this service to the community.
While we have dreamed of this project for decades, it really took off two years ago when we realized we quickly needed more space, and an additional stream of revenue to support the growing need for affordable housing options in our area. Immediately, we began looking for additional warehouse space to increase our buying power, allow us to accept donated materials, and to protect our current assets. During the search we also began tracking our daily calls from members of the Alliance community who wanted to know if we had a ReStore where they could purchase or donate. As the demand for a ReStore seemed to grow, we began conversations with Habitat for Humanity International about the requirements to open a store, and whether they felt an operation would be successful. They assisted us with a penetration study and sales projections, and we created a three-year business plan and submitted for their approval. The feedback we received was excellent and we are excited to create another stream of revenue to support our growing construction efforts.
Our ReStore is starting out small, utilizing just under 6,000 square feet of the plaza, but we are in the final steps of acquiring surrounding parcels for an expansion plan once the store is successful so we will be able to move the offices and warehouse to the property behind the existing building, if needed, and allow the ReStore the entire building.
This project will create some new jobs and volunteer projects in our community. We will begin hiring a paid ReStore manager and staff in August. We have also been approved as a work-study partner with the University of Mount Union and students will be paid through financial aid to staff our location once they are back to normal operations. Volunteers will also be welcome for tasks ranging from repairing donated items or staging the store to assisting staff during shifts. We are excited to be able to offer opportunities to members of our community who reach out about volunteering but are not comfortable on the construction site.
Building homes is always the priority and none of our traditional donor funds are being used for this project, they are designated to the construction of our houses. Instead, we have been working with county-wide foundations through the 2019 Stark County Capital Campaign, local foundations, and donors specific to this project to fund the renovation.
Current partners are:
-Terry Tolerton, and Will and Marci Tolerton in memory of the late Mrs. Judith Tolerton
-Marty and Margee Pagnucco: Building donors
-Sisters of Charity Foundation, Hoover Foundation, and George H Deuble Foundation all through the 2019 Stark County Capital Campaign
-Greater Alliance Foundation
We still have sponsorships available for specific wings and rooms throughout the building.
Our store will seek and receive donations from within our geographic service area of Alliance, Sebring, and Beloit. We look forward to working with Copeland Oaks and other area businesses for annual donations and will be seeking donations from households in the greater Alliance Area.
Currently, our drawings have been approved on the county level and we anticipate all city permits will be approved within the month. Once we have the final approval from the city the renovation will begin immediately. Joe Laure of Accent Home Improvement will be overseeing the commercial side of the renovation while our own Habitat staff will be assisting with our office space and specific tasks within the large project. Our goal is for an October grand opening. We will begin collecting donations a month prior.
We are excited to be able to offer our current and future homeowners, families working with other area nonprofits, and our entire community this opportunity to find high quality furniture, appliances, and household items at a great price while also supporting our own mission and programming. Thank you for your support!