Austin Habitat for Humanity’s new ReStore, a retail outlet that sells discounted construction materials and home furnishings, is opening in October, Austin Habitat Communications Manager Carly Yansak said.
The $3.5 million renovation of the 53,000-square-foot building on Ben White Boulevard, which has been the site of a Chuck E. Cheese’s and a Ross department store, has been underway since February. Austin Habitat chose the location in South Austin to replace its existing ReStore location at 310 Comal St. in part because there is more traffic in the area, Director of Operations Greg Anderson said.
In addition to the ReStore, the building will also house a new construction warehouse as well as offices for finance, communications and the nonprofit’s Home Services Program, through which staff meet with families to help them enter into homeownership.
“Right now they are all a couple of miles apart; now they are all going to be under one roof, which is a really big deal for us,” Anderson said.
The building design includes conference rooms, an 800-square-foot community center room, and features such as natural light and brightly colored accent walls. Anderson said the nonprofit is seeking a four-star Austin Energy Green Building rating.
Staff began using the offices Oct. 1. The ReStore will have a soft opening at the end of October and a grand opening Nov. 21, Anderson said.
In addition to building homes for low-income families, Austin Habitat offers a variety of programs, such as home repair and financial counseling, some of which are free and open to the public, Yansak said.
“Any time you shop with the ReStore you’re actually shopping for our cause because all of it will come back into our programs and help us fund our mission,” Yansak said.
How to donate
The new Austin Habitat ReStore location at 500 W. Ben White Blvd. plans to begin accepting donations when it has a soft opening in late October, Austin Habitat Communications Manager Carly Yansak said.
“When you’re donating to us you’re donating for hope because you’re giving families a chance to achieve their American dream of homeownership just by bringing in a table that you can’t use anymore,” Yansak said.
People wishing to donate can drive up to the northwest corner of the building to drop off supplies such as furniture and appliances. Items cannot be damaged or broken, and the ReStore does not accept mattresses, she said.
Changes coming to Habitat
Things have changed since Austin Habitat for Humanity first started Aug. 16, 1985. The nonprofit helps provide homes and programs for working families throughout Central Texas and serves four counties: Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell and Williamson.
To accommodate increased density in the Austin area and in response to land shortages, Austin Habitat plans to begin building two-story and attached multifamily housing in Austin starting in fall 2015 and during 2016, Director of Operations Greg Anderson said.
Austin Habitat for Humanity ReStore
500 W. Ben White Blvd.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.