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More room for ReStore Move gives Habitat for Humanity shop twice the space

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at 7:18 a.m.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore shop is doubling its space with a move to the Plaza West shopping center at the southwest corner of Central and West Street.

“We are just growing,” says director Katrina McGuigan. “We’re getting a lot of good stuff coming in from our donors and just needed to find a bigger showroom floor space.”

The ReStore shop is a retail discount home improvement store that has new and used merchandise donated by the public.

“We exist to support Habitat for Humanity,” McGuigan says.

The current showroom is 6,000 square feet at the southwest corner of Harry and Hillside. The new one will be 12,000 square feet and have 3,000 square feet more for storage.

“Our loyal customers will easily follow us,” McGuigan says. “And we’ll have a whole new, fresh set of customers on that side of town.”

She says the new store will be in a more visible, high-traffic area with a Walmart Neighborhood Market in the same center and Dillons across the street.

“This just makes all the sense in the world for us.”

McGuigan says she also likes that the new space is only one floor instead of two, which will make moving merchandise easier.

“It’s flat over there.”

The existing store will close Nov. 21 and the new store will open Dec. 1.

The Junior League of Wichita will help the store move.

“We depend heavily on volunteers,” McGuigan says.

“We pick up donations every day,” she says. “We make it easy for our donors.”

The store, which has some larger items in a warehouse, opened in 2005 as a Habitat for Humanity Home Mart at Towne West Square. McGuigan says it moved to increase visibility for shoppers and those who donate to the store.

Doug Malone and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the Plaza West space.

McGuigan will have a new challenge with so much extra space and all the merchandise it will hold.

“I have had to stop becoming a ReStore hoarder,” she says.

She says she’s not the only one.

“I think there’s a lot of ReStore hoarders in this town.”

‘Only better’

Since opening her Bluebird Arthouse in Delano a year ago, Emily Brookover hasn’t used the extra 6,000 square feet on the shop’s second floor.

“We just didn’t know what to do with it,” she says.

A visit to the Art and Book Fair at Century II earlier this year gave her an idea, though.

“I was like, I could do this on a miniature scale.”

Starting Oct. 20, Brookover plans to devote the second floor of 924 W. Douglas to the Art Market at Bluebird Arthouse every third Saturday of the month.

Brookover already has about a dozen booths rented to sell art, handbags, pottery and skin-care products.

“We have all sorts of people,” she says. “I’m looking to do really a wide variety of artists and artisans.”

If the concept is successful, Brookover says she’ll expand it to other days.

“That’s sort of the idea if it goes well.”

She notes that the upstairs is not handicap accessible.

Interested vendors can contact Brookover at Bluebird Arthouse. Spaces will rent for $30 or $45 for a larger area.

Brookover thinks the idea will work, especially for artists who may not have venues to show their work.

As she says in a news release about it, “It’s like a Farmer’s Market, only better.”

You don’t say

“You need to get out more, girl.”

– What jazz musician Esperanza Spalding said to Greteman Group’s Carol Farrow when Farrow told Spalding her Orpheum Theatre concert this week was one of the best she’d ever seen

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

Got a hot tip or a quirky story? Call Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or e-mail crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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