BRANDON — Attention area shoppers: A new home improvement store is coming to town.
It will be stocked with a multitude of household essentials and enhancements, but don't expect it to resemble any of the community's big-box superstores.
Some of the inventory may be similar, but the cost of the items will be a fraction of the cost you'd typically pay at any of the area's standard home improvement, furniture or department stores.
The 15,000-square-foot Habitat for Humanity ReStore — located at 501 W Robertson St., across the street from the rear of the Clayton Plaza Office Depot on Brandon Boulevard — will feature new and gently used working appliances, cabinets, granite countertops, sinks, furniture, flooring, light fixtures, building materials and decorating accessories.
The entire inventory will be a mix of overstock and surplus merchandise provided free of charge by some of the area's chain stores and other businesses as well as donations from homeowners.
"It's kind of like the Home Depot of thrift stores," said Dan Crowthers, Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County Chief ReStore officer, who also oversees two similar ReStores in Tampa.
Habitat will use proceeds from the store to help fund building materials used in its homebuilding program for low-income individuals and families. Those who qualify for the affordable mortgages with low or zero interest are not required to make a down payment but must invest in their future single-family homes through sweat equity hours, which can be accumulated by helping to build their homes and volunteering at the ReStores.
Crowthers said volunteers, in fact, are the heartbeat of the Habitat organization, both in its home building projects and in the discount stores. They are especially needed in the new Brandon store, expected to open in early July between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Donations for the Brandon store also are welcomed and may be dropped off starting the last week of June when renovations to the building, adjacent to Brandon Business Machines, wind down. Clothing and mattresses, however, will not be accepted.
Habitat also offers a complimentary pick-up service by calling the donation hotline at (813) 540-7540.
The nonprofit organization also provides a free in-home de-construction service to homeowners who are renovating their dwellings. Trained workers will dismantle and remove old cabinets, sinks and flooring, which in turn will be spruced up and sold at the Brandon ReStore, created to serve the entire South County region. To request the service call the number listed above.
"We're really excited to be coming to Brandon," said Habitat for Humanity Hillsborough County CEO Tina Swain.
Crowthers echoed similar thoughts.
"We hope to bring in $1 million in sales in the first couple of years," he said, noting the other stores achieve that same benchmark every year.
"Plus last year we kept about 15,000 tons of discarded items out of the landfills, so we're very much in line with the county's green initiative in protecting the environment."
Rhea Robinson is one of close to 200 Habitat Hillsborough's homeowners, five of whom are in North Brandon.
She and her husband moved into their Tampa home about a year and a half ago. She alone has contributed more than 1,200 "sweat equity" hours — more than any other Habitat Hillsborough homeowner to date — toward building her first-ever single-family home and at the ReStore on West Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, where she continues to volunteer on a regular basis.
"No one in my family had ever owned a home and I'm loving ours," Robinson said.
Contact Joyce McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org.