Goodwill building new store at former Wachovia site


The Goodwill store at 2624 NW 13th St. in Gainesville is shown on Thursday. Goodwill is seeking a larger retail space.

Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:46 p.m.

Goodwill plans to build a new thrift store and donation center to replace its store at 2624 NW 13th St.

The new store will be on the site of a former Wachovia Bank drive-in just east of an old gas station on the southeast corner of Northwest 13th Street and 23rd Avenue.

The building will be more functional, with a back room to process donations and a covered drive-through to receive donations as well as Goodwill's trucks, said Karen Phillips, chief administrative officer of Goodwill Industries of North Florida. It also will be safer than having people drop off donations behind the current store, she said.

The building will be about 14,300 square feet compared with 8,400 square feet in the current leased location.

If all goes as planned, Phillips said construction could start in April for an Aug. 1 opening.

A neighborhood workshop to inform nearby property owners about the project and take their comments will be held at the former Piccadilly restaurant at 2620 NW 13th St., next to the current store, at 6 p.m. Monday.

Phillips said Goodwill leased the spot on the north side to see if it would compete with its store at 3520 SW 34th St. before deciding to build. Both stores have done well, she said, adding that the 34th Street store was the first in the district to top $1 million in sales.

Sales are up nearly 17 percent this year at the 22 stores in 14 counties in the North Florida district, Phillips said.

“I do think people are very mindful of stretching a dollar,” she said. “You can find some great things if you're willing to hunt.”

The thrift stores support Goodwill's mission of providing training and employment services to people with disabilities and special needs. Goodwill also has a donation center at 14451 Newberry Road in the Jonesville Plaza.

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