The Habitat for Humanity MidOhio ReStore on Bethel Road is on schedule to open at the end of October.
E.J. Thomas, president and CEO of the local Habitat for Humanity organization, said this week subcontractors are expected to begin the process of refining the 16,000-square-foot interior of the former Graeter's Ice Cream building at 2555 Bethel Road. Graeter's moved in April to a new space about a half-mile east to 2136 Bethel Road.
Volunteers, the life force behind Habitat, did their part by helping gut the building and get it ready for the infrastructure work, Thomas said.
Habitat closed on the $2.24 million sale in June after a zoning variance was granted by the city of Columbus, Thomas said.
The store will become the flagship for Habitat, which operates two other stores at 3140 Westerville Road and 240 N. Wilson Road.
Thomas called it a "sweet spot," located closer to donors, who will contribute 90% of the goods at the store, Thomas said.
"We've been trying to get up there for six years," he said of northwest Columbus.
The inventory will include new and gently used home-goods merchandise, such as building supplies, furniture, decorative items and area rugs, at a discounted price, he said.
Money raised at the ReStores goes toward the group's mission of building houses, fixing up properties and helping with home repairs.
Thomas said the two Columbus stores together raised $2.3 million in the last fiscal year.
Roy Wentzel, a board member of the Northwest Civic Association, said he volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Utah and Columbus for a combined eight years, helping out in the stores, picking up furniture and passing out literature at events.
"It's a great savings," Wentzel said of the ReStore. "They have some experts at the store who will reprice things as they come into the store and they are cheaper than any place you can buy them.
"And you can find unique things there."