Business

Habitat ReStore opening second Lexington shop in a burgeoning business district

Lexington Habitat for Humanity CEO Rachel Childress, left, and ReStore Director Jim Kreiner in the new Habitat ReStore which is opening soon in a strip mall at 817 Winchester Road. The new location will join the location now open on Southland Drive. A large warehouse in the back of the building will allow the nonprofit to receive donations of all sizes.
Lexington Habitat for Humanity CEO Rachel Childress, left, and ReStore Director Jim Kreiner in the new Habitat ReStore which is opening soon in a strip mall at 817 Winchester Road. The new location will join the location now open on Southland Drive. A large warehouse in the back of the building will allow the nonprofit to receive donations of all sizes. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has had a Lexington presence since 2001 — first on Industry Road, and then in a 30,000+ square foot storefront on Southland Drive.

Among the top 20 of about 900 national ReStores for sales of donated goods, Lexington’s ReStore long wanted to open a store in or near the Winchester Road corridor.

This summer, that’s going to happen.

ReStore Director Jim Kreiner said the organization had looked for a spot there since 2013. It also looked on Palumbo Drive, Richmond Road and more locations for what it considered just the right spot.

ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores that sell new and used furniture, appliances, building materials and architectural salvage items. The Southland Drive store also includes a volunteer-staffed bookstore. ReStore helps Habitat for Humanity build affordable homes, and volunteering there is an option for those who are uncomfortable with actual home-building, according to Rachel Smith Childress, chief executive officer of Lexington’s Habitat, which has offices at 700 East Loudon.

ReStore’s second location will be at 817 Winchester Road in a strip mall space most recently occupied by Tempur Sealy. The store hopes to have some weekend warehouse sales in March, and to formally open in June.

The 17,000-square-foot space is now being prepared. On a recent afternoon, carpet glue was being patiently scraped inch by inch from the concrete floor, various drips from the roof were being examined and wires were dangling from the ceilings as if the “Alien” predator was descending from the ceiling. At the back of the space sit donations to the new store including furniture and fixtures from a former big and tall men’s shop.

Kreiner was elated.

“It’s kind of perfect for what ReStore does,” he said, gesturing to the curved wall in the front of the building that will become a “mission wall,” highlighting what Habitat does throughout the community.

The space has a dock to facilitate easy delivery and handling of heavy building materials and is close to many of the organization’s donors, Keiner said. An added benefit: It’s close to a mini-home furnishings district on Liberty Road that includes the long-thriving Room Service consignment shop.

The space will allow ReStore to add a room for refinishing seminars and other community events. It will sell furniture and construction supplies like those sold at its counterpart store, next to Good Foods Co-Op on Southland Drive. The Winchester Road space will also allow for storage of some items, a boon when the organization has to rent costly storage units.

Across Winchester Road from the new ReStore is the children’s clothing company Bella Bliss, which moved into the former quarters of Big Ass Fans (now Big Ass Solutions). Griffith Catlett Hampton Insurance launched an extensive building update at 780 Winchester Road, the former home of an automotive service provider, last fall.

Next door to ReStore, Koller Warner Construction and Synergy Home share a building that has been updated with solar panels and a free electric car-charging space. On nearby Delaware Avenue, the International Book Project recently renovated its quarters and opened, and Pasta Garage Italian Cafe has been open since 2015.

Council member Bill Farmer, whose district includes the area, said the Winchester Road/Delaware Avenue area can have additional connectivity when sidewalks run throughout, which he is trying to get funded.

“It’s close to a lot of neighborhoods on both sides,” Farmer said of the area. “You’ve got a real renaissance all the way through there. ... The whole thing has a real charm to it.”

Cheryl Truman: 859-231-3202, @CherylTruman

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