New Habitat ReStore in Chesterfield offers home improvement for less, for good

Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity CEO Jane Helfrich, ReStore sales floor manager Stephon Louis, and work dog Jack, in the new Chesterfield ReStore at 1201 Mall Drive.

On Saturday, April 28, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity will be celebrating the grand opening of a new ReStore location at 1201 Mall Drive in Chesterfield.

Habitat for Humanity is well known as a champion of affordable housing in local communities. Mention of the international nonprofit organization conjures up images of hard-hatted teams of volunteers raising wall frames and hammering siding to unveil new homes for families in need. But the ReStore retail locations are one of Habitat’s lesser-known offerings. ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell building materials, appliances, new and gently used furniture and home accessories to contractors and the general public at a fraction of the retail price, sometimes up to 90% off. All proceeds from Habitat ReStores directly support affordable housing in local communities, and keep tons of usable materials out of landfills every year.

For the Richmond Metropolitan chapter of Habitat for Humanity, ReStore is crucial to their ability to serve the area. “Our ReStore on Roane Street generates about a quarter of our annual revenue,” said Richmond Metro Habitat spokeswoman Kristin Vinagro. For that reason, the organization has been patiently pursuing the goal of opening a second ReStore location in the Richmond metro area for several years. “There were two locations around Richmond that we had our eyes on,” Vinagro said, “But for various reasons, those options fell through. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, as we could not imagine a more perfect location than the one we have now.”

That location is a 20,150 square foot commercial space on Mall Drive in Chesterfield, adjacent to the bustling Chesterfield Towne Center. Richmond Metro Habitat purchased the building last year and has been making renovations to bring the storefront to life. The Chesterfield ReStore will boast a more modern floor plan reflecting contemporary shopper behavior and influence from design-minded retailers like LaDiff and IKEA: instead of a “warehouse” feel with metal racks and pilings, the Chesterfield ReStore will be merchandized into homey zones, organized in a loop around the store that feels more like a showroom. The location also features an ample warehouse where excess inventory can be staged, and a rear loading dock that will facilitate easy donation drop-offs and customer pickups. The Chesterfield ReStore has also created six full-time retail jobs, with additional retail and operational positions filled by volunteers.

The Chesterfield ReStore officially opens on Saturday, April 28, with a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The celebration will feature local food trucks, entertainment, activities for children, door-buster prizes and giveaways, and special guests from Richmond’s Mix 98.1 FM.

Richmond Metro Habitat will continue to operate its original ReStore at 1901 Roane Street in Richmond’s North Side. Last month, volunteers refreshed the ReStore with fresh paint and new fixtures. Donations of new and gently used household items, building supplies and furniture will be accepted at either ReStore location, and can even be picked up for free for residents of Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico.

“The opening of this new ReStore marks the latest step in our efforts to eliminate poverty housing in the greater Richmond area,” said Richmond Metropolitan Habitat CEO Jane Helfrich. “The addition of the second ReStore in Chesterfield will really help to increase the number of homes we are able to build in our communities each year.”

This feature is one in a series about the Richmond Region’s nonprofit organizations and their contributions to our communities. It is brought to you by Elevation Advertising Agency.