Habitat for Humanity's ReStore prepares for Bluffton expansion

gmartin@islandpacket.comJuly 15, 2012 

Patricia Carey Wirth feels both pride and shame when she talks about ReStore, a secondhand clothing and goods shop in Bluffton.

"I like to say we have the best business in Bluffton," she says. "But we have the worst buildings, too."

Wirth, the president and CEO of the Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity, says she's grateful for the revenue the store has generated for her organization since it opened in Bluffton nearly 10 years ago.

She's just as pleased to announce the store -- which is a fundraising mechanism for Habitat for Humanity and has more than 800 locations in North America, including one in Beaufort -- will be moving July 30.

A 10,200-square-foot space will open in space formerly occupied by a Piggly Wiggly grocery store on May River Road. It will share the building with Dollar General.

The Bluffton ReStore currently is housed in two aluminum buildings, totaling 7,700 square feet of floor space, at the intersection of Bluffton Road and Dr. Mellichamp Drive.

"We'll have a paved parking lot instead of the gravel one we have now," Wirth said. "Pulling up to the store (now) is like driving up the side of the Rocky Mountains."

The store, staffed primarily by volunteers, offers tax receipts to those donating goods and will retain two drivers to assist with large donations.

Its proceeds will help the Habitat chapter build roads and install utilities on the 14 acres off Marshland Road the Town of Hilton Head Island donated to the nonprofit group last year.

Wirth hopes construction on the project, named The Glen, will begin by year's end, adding she needs to raise about $600,000 to pay for the roads.

For several weeks, Jeff Schafstall has supervised volunteers helping with the new store's opening. He said eight to 10 volunteers have been assisting each day with constructing partition walls, shelving and display racks. He hopes to complete interior painting and tile-floor installation before the opening.

Related content:

Hilton Head Habitat for Humanity taps Caporale for new position, April 9, 2012

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