Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is moving its ReStore in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood to a new, larger location in Franklin.
The move gives Habitat room to grow and will allow them to set up a proper resale store and donation center, organization officials said.
The new ReStore will open in its new home at the former Gander Mountain in Franklin on 6939 S. Riverwood Blvd. sometime in early 2021, according to a news release. The Walker's Point ReStore, located at 420 S. First St., will remain open until Dec. 17.
Habitat purchased the former Gander Mountain store in October for $1.1 million, according to state records.
Totaling more than 31,000 square feet, it is more than triple the size of the existing Walker's Point store.
Jake Brandt, a spokesman for Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, said the new store will provide a larger sales floor and gives the organization room to grow. And since it owns the building, as opposed to leasing the Walker's Point space, Habitat can do more with it, he said — including building a proper donation center onto the building.
"By owning our own building, we are able to determine our future a little bit more," Brandt said.
He said Habitat looked at a few locations in Walker's Point. It wasn't able to find a suitable spot there partly because, as a non-profit group, it can't make as competitive offers as larger retailers. Also, the big box freestanding retail format with ample parking suits Habitat's needs well, he said.
"We were hoping to initially stay in Walker's Point," Brandt said. "That area has been really great to us and we really appreciated the community backing us. That's one of the reasons we've been able to continue to grow."
He said Habitat hopes its customers frequenting the Walker's Point ReStore will make the trek to the new Franklin location.
Habitat's ReStores are the organization's largest fundraising source. In 2019, its three Milwaukee County Restore locations sold more than $2.5 million worth of donated items. The proceeds went toward the building of safe and affordable homes by Habitat.
Its other two ReStores are in Greenfield, at 4150 S. 108th St., and Wauwatosa, at 3015 N. 114th St.
“We’re so grateful for the support of the Milwaukee community, who’ve made this opportunity to grow possible,” ReStore director Dominic Jaehnke said in a statement. “Thanks to our loyal donors, shoppers, and volunteers we’ll be able to build more safe, affordable housing in our city, while keeping millions of pounds of usable materials out of landfills.”