Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens

Kelly Petryszyn

Volunteers help move

items to new locationt

Volunteers help move

items to new location

Students will have more opportunities to volunteer when the Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens today at its new location in Kent.

The ReStore, a home improvement and furniture store, will now be located at 225 S. Water St., the former Kent Hardware store. Its previous location on S.R. 59 in Ravenna closed February 13.

The store could use volunteers to help with cleaning and upkeep of the building on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as any other day volunteers would like to help, ReStore manager Jan Bennett said. Volunteers can also help build houses on Saturdays.

She said she wants the store to be more “student-friendly.”

Bennett hopes to start a recycling program with the university to collect furniture items as students move out at the end of the academic year.

Kent State students played a big role in getting the ReStore ready for an opening. Kent State volunteers helped move items and get the store set up for the past two Saturdays.

“We could not have done what we did in this move without the Kent State students,” said Tom Poremba, Habitat for Humanity truck driver. “They worked hard, they put in a full day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it was a wonderful experience for all of us working together.”

The store sells new or used items at 50 to 90 percent off retail price. Currently, sinks, vintage chairs, desks, TVs and more items cover the green and white-checkered floor. The profit, after expenses, from the ReStore goes to build houses for families in need.

“If somebody donates, they bless people twice,” Poremba said. “Once if people buy their things, and the other if people live in the house they help build.”

The location may be temporary. If another business wanted to move into the South Water Street property as part of the downtown redevelopment project, then the organization agreed to leave the property, Bennett said.

Economic Development Director Dan Smith said in an e-mail that he outlined the plans of the downtown redevelopment project with the organization prior to any decisions being made.

The organization signed a six-month lease with the corporation. After the six months are up, the organization will rent on a month-to-month basis.

With knowledge of the possible move, the organization is currently looking for another site. Most of the other properties they are considering are in Kent.

Smith said in the meantime, he will keep them informed as development agreements get signed and give them at least several months notice before the organization has to move out.

“I think the reasonable rent will indeed give them a chance to test their concept and hopefully move into a permanent Kent location when we move forward with the project,” he said.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.

Contact Kelly Petryszyn

at [email protected].