If Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity had to choose a mantra for 2022, it should be: “Out with the old, in with the new.”
The nonprofit’s ReStore is undertaking a big new endeavor, both literally and figuratively.
The organization announced it has landed a lease to take over the old JCPenney building at 2080 Greeley Mall. The Greeley location was one of more than 154 stores, including one in Fort Collins, that were shuttered in the summer of 2020. Since its closing, the building has sat empty.
“One of our former board members is a retired commercial broker, so we kind of set him out on search about two years ago,” said Cheri Witt-Brown, executive director of Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity. “We frankly have been looking ever since I became the Habitat executive director, since 2016.”
Habitat tried to purchase the building where it is currently located at 2400 29th St., and at one point, Witt-Brown and the organization had a contract drawn up. But when the pandemic hit, everything closed down, and the offer was taken off of the table.
“The owner of that building decided they didn’t want to sell portions of the building, they wanted to sell the whole thing,” Witt-Brown said. “We were getting so worried because we knew that eventually that building would be sold, which it did.”
After looking at another location in the mall, the management company offered the old JCPenney spot to the organization, which Witt-Brown and ReStore Director Lew Sevestre were happy to jump on.
The new location will give the store 10,000 square feet of space to display items, collect donations and house inventory.
The department store left all of its merchandise shelving and racks, which will be used in helping set up the new store with unneeded pieces being sold or recycled, Sevestre said.
EVANS, CO – SEPTEMBER 30:Attendees listen to remarks by Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Cheri Witt-Brown during the dedication of Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity’s Zero Net Energy home in Evans Sept. 30, 2021. The home, sponsored by Atmos Energy and the Schlessman Family Foundation, is estimated to have energy bills totaling about $50 per month. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)