Just opened this week: a new location for the ReStore, the building supplies store run by Habitat for Humanity Capital District.
The ReStore has moved from North Pearl to a former lumber warehouse on Fuller Road. It's a big space -- double the size of the old location -- and Habitat has big plans for it.
We stopped in this week to check it out, and talk with the store's manager about what's up...
There are a bunch of large-format photos of the new store above -- click or scroll all the way up for them.
Here's how the Habitat ReStore works:
+ Habitat takes in donations of building materials, appliances, kitchen cabinets, furniture, hardware, tools, doors, windows -- all that sort of stuff for the home. (It doesn't take items like plates.)
+ It then resells those items at relatively cheap prices to people working on remodeling/upgrade/repair projects. Example: a kitchen stove might sell for $90.
+ The money from those sales then goes to help fund Habitat's building projects in the Capital District.
The local Habitat ReStore had been in a space on North Pearl. It was successful -- ReStore manager Dave Harrison told us they did $500,000 in revenue last year. But they were running out of space, and that made it feel cramped and cluttered.
That should be less of a problem on Fuller Road. The new space is 24,000 square feet -- more than double the old space -- with a high ceiling and lots of light.
"It allows us to display things better and allows us to take more donations, it allows us to take different donations," Harrison said.
Example: There's someone who wants to donate $10,000 worth of hair salon equipment. In the past, Harrison said the ReStore would have had to turn it down for lack of space. Now? Not only is the space not a problem, but the equipment can be displayed in a more attractive way.
"We want to make it look as close to Huck Finn's, and Home Depot, and Lowe's as we can make it."
And with all that new space, Habitat has some new expectations. It's aiming for the new ReStore location to double its yearly revenue -- to $1 million a year.
What you'll find
The ReStore isn't like a regular retail store. About 99 percent of the inventory is donated. And while it's in pretty good shape, a lot of it isn't exactly what you might call "in style" right now.
But there are good deals to be had. During a quick browse on Wednesday, we spotted:
+ A whole kitchen's-worth of cabinets for $350 and up.
+ Dishwashers for $35 and up.
+ Kitchen stoves for $85 and up. (A few of them looked like the ovens had rarely -- if ever -- been used.)
+ A pretty good-looking bathroom vanity and sink that was sold for $135 (and waiting pick up).
+ A large, wood-framed bay window that sold for $125.
+ A couch in good shape for $80.
+ A dining room table for $20.
There were also all sorts of knobs, hinges, extra tile, and other similar items available.
As Harrison told us: "You never know what you're going to find. Some days you may come in and not find anything. Other days you may be like, 'I can't believe what I just found at the price I found it at.'"
Harrison said the ReStore is popular with people looking to fix up a basement or a garage or a weekend camp. They also see a lot of landlords. Kitchen cabinets and appliances are among the most popular items.
Because of the extra space at Fuller Road, the ReStore is also now selling a few new items: a line of kitchen cabinets and a generic interior paint. Harrison says because those items are new, their prices are closer to what you'd pay at a regular retail store, but they should still be a bit cheaper. And Habitat is hoping the new products will provide more choices to customers and diversify the ReStore's customer base.
Habitat for Humanity Capital District has some big projects in the works. It's finishing nine houses in Troy. And it's starting an ambitious plan to make over a section of Sheridan Hollow in Albany. The Restore -- and the revenue it generates -- is a key part of that overall effort.
"It's the golden egg that allows this chapter of Habitat to accomplish everything we want to accomplish," Harrison said.
The ReStore is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 am-5 pm, and Thursday 10 am-7 pm. It's closed Sunday and Monday.
If you have items you'd like to donate, here's the info on how to do that.
Earlier on AOA: Back in 2008, Amy checked out the ReStore at its North Pearl location.
Habita for Humanity Capital District ReStore
70 Fuller Rd
Albany, NY 12205
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