(Springfield, MA) Officials and supporters were on hand today as the non-profit ReStore Home Improvement Center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at its future location, 83 Warwick Street in Springfield, Massachusetts. The building is four times the size of its current location and will enable the ReStore to double its impact in the community and respond to growing demand for its services. New jobs will be created in the construction of the new facility and expanded retail and deconstruction operations. The new facility is slated to open in the summer of 2011.
Honored guests included Congressman Richard Neal, Senator Stephen Buoniconti, Department of Business Development Undersecretary Michael Hunter, Massachusetts Department of Energy and Resources Commissioner Phil Giudice, and Mayor Domenic Sarno.
“We are excited to expand our ability to serve the community and help our economy and environment. The energy efficiency upgrades, including high performance insulation, heating and lighting, will make this a national model for what you can do with an older, inefficient building. Lots of parking, wide aisles, great lighting and modern material handling equipment will help us perform more of our mission more efficiently, and be a model for the building materials reuse industry. And the whole effort is designed to allow us to return to our traditional self-sufficiency through the revenues we generate in performing our mission. All this could not have happened without significant support from so many people,” said John Majercak, ReStore Director.
The approximately $3.1 million project is being funded by many private donations and significant grants including a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant from the City of Springfield. A $900,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources will support a demonstration deep energy retrofit that will reduce energy use by more than 50% and be a high-profile model for transforming energy performance in existing commercial buildings. Westfield Bank, in cooperation with MassDevelopment, is providing $1.1 million in low-cost project financing via a tax-exempt bond issued on behalf of the Center for Ecological Technology, the ReStore’s parent organization.
This project is also being highlighted by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development as one of the Commonwealth’s 50 in 2010 initiative. This initiative features more than 50 housing and economic development projects, both renovation and new construction, expected to break ground this year, totaling more than $1 billion dollars in development investments in the Commonwealth. Each of these projects have been assisted by an investment from the Patrick-Murray Administration. Together, they will create thousands of jobs across the state.
The ReStore has already raised $940,000 in donations out of a total of $1,100,000 needed to complete the project. Foundation and corporate donors include the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Jane’s Trust, the Community Foundation of Western MA, AW Hastings, Bank of Western Massachusetts, Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation, Hampden Bank Charitable Foundation, Westfield Bank Future Fund, Wyomissing Foundation, US EPA New England, Bank of America, PeoplesBank, United Bank Foundation, Big Y, Chicopee Savings Charitable Foundation, and TD Charitable Foundation.
In addition to generous financial contributions, many community members have also stepped forward with significant in-kind services or equipment. For example, attorney Craig Brown of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy provided extensive pro-bono legal services for the project. A growing list of equipment and materials suppliers are providing donations and their state of the art products will be featured prominently in the new building as part of the educational mission of the project.
The new facility’s green building demonstration features will teach residents about energy efficiency and sustainable building practices including residential building materials reuse and deconstruction. Deconstruction is the careful dismantling of structures to maximize recovery of building materials for reuse and recycling. The ReStore provides deconstruction services throughout southern New England and has been featured on This Old House, New England Dream Home and many other programs.
Background information on the ReStore
The ReStore Home Improvement Center is an innovative non-profit enterprise with a three-fold mission:
- Reuse valuable building materials
- Make home improvement more affordable
- Create local jobs and provide job training
The ReStore sells used and surplus building materials at low cost to help hardworking do-it-yourselfers rebuild their homes, lives and communities. The materials are donated by individuals, contractors, manufacturers and homeowners who deconstruct rather than demolish and wish to see quality goods used to help their neighbors. Over 50,000 residents have been able to improve their homes and the quality of their lives and communities in ways that would have been out of their reach without the ReStore’s low-cost materials. These customers have saved a total of more than $4 million over the past eight years, keeping hundreds of tons of materials out of the landfill.
The ReStore began in 2001 in a small building at Gasoline Alley, a socially responsible business incubator space, at 250 Albany Street in Springfield. The operation expanded to an additional building in its second year, and has been growing steadily since then. The planning for this expansion began several years ago as it became apparent to ReStore leaders that as much as they liked their home, they would need to expand in order to meet community demand.
The ReStore is an enterprise of the Center for Ecological Technology (CET), a non-profit organization that promotes practical solutions to the environmental challenges we face in our daily activities. CET has been serving the western Massachusetts community since 1976, through locations in Springfield, Northampton and Pittsfield. For more information about the ReStore, stop by the store at 250 Albany Street, visit www.restoreonline.org, or call 413-788-6900.
Quotes from honored officials
“I have been an enthusiastic supporter and advocate of ReStore for many years. They have redefined home improvement in western Massachusetts, making it both cost and environmentally friendly. With their growing popularity among consumers in the Pioneer Valley, it was inevitable they would have to expand. We all watched ReStore’s work on This Old House – today we welcome them to their new home in Springfield.”
-Congressman Richard E. Neal
"The Patrick-Murray administration is pleased to partner with CET by awarding federal stimulus dollars to a project that will benefit the local economy and the environment," DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice said. "CET's new ReStore facility will include state-of-the-art energy efficiency features, divert tons of building materials from landfills, and provide Springfield area residents and builders with low-cost, recycled materials for their projects. No matter how you look at it, this is a hands down win-win."
– Commissioner Phil Giudice, Massachusetts Department of Energy and Resources
“The City of Springfield is pleased to participate in this endeavor and it’s a continuation to build on my Administration’s green economic development initiatives.”
– Mayor Domenic Sarno, City of Springfield
“ReStore is a tremendous resource for our region,” said Senator Stephen Buoniconti. “This expansion will allow ReStore to help many more local residents tackle home improvement in an affordable and environmentally friendly way, and I am very happy to be a part of it.”
– State Senator Stephen Buoniconti
“We're pleased to support a new development project like this that demonstrates energy efficiency technology, while educating others at the same time."
- Peter J. Clarke, President and Chief Operating Officer of Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO).
“Green building practices and more affordable home ownership are priorities that ReStore shares with both MassDevelopment and the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. “We’re pleased that our financing can help people in the Pioneer Valley live more affordably and sustainably.”
– President and CEO Robert L. Culver, MassDevelopment
“Westfield Bank is pleased to finance projects that help build our communities.”
– Bruce Eger, Vice President Commercial Lending, Westfield Bank