By Veronica Sandate Craker
Goodwill Industries will move into a new its Pasco retail center into a new 76,000-sq-ft. building at 3521 W. Court St. in Pasco in fall 2013.
“With the way Pasco has grown in the past few years, we think it’s a great central location for our retail store,” said Scott Shinsato, Goodwill associate director.
Goodwill Industries bought the building and the 5.12 acres it sits on for $1,650,000, according to the Franklin County Assessor’s website. Shinsato and Goodwill Executive Director Gordon Comfort said they hope to be moved in by September 2013.
“We went through almost a year-long of working with the City of Pasco, the planning commission for the city and city staff,” said Comfort. “We needed the law to change to allow us to move. We had to rezone it, we had to get a special permit, there was just a lot of work from the city staff. The commission and the council really helped us.”
Comfort admits it was frustrating at times trying to get plans finalized, but said he was happy with the outcome.
“Really the city staff helped us a great deal move it forward in a timely manner as fast as they could.”
The current Pasco Goodwill store, at 307. W. Columbia St., will move into the building along with the company’s e-commerce operation and its employment services project.
“When we open this new building it will really begin a new chapter for Goodwill,” Shinsato said. “We’ve always provided community employee services for our location in Kennewick and the idea is for us to open a community employment services office in Pasco. We will help even more folks go to work in our community because the access will be more local.”
The original store employs close to 70 workers. Once they are in the new location, the company plans to hire an additional 25 to 30 employees.
The e-commerce operation will allow the business to sell some of its donations online. Meanwhile, the original Pasco store will be transformed into a new kind of business, Shinsato said.
“We have grown our business into something we call post-retail, for items that are donated that either haven’t sold or don’t meet the requirements to be sold in our store,” Shinsato said. “What we want to do is open an outlet store in which we can sell these items by the pound, which I think is a tremendous opportunity for people who are looking for a lot of material.”
The goal is to keep a lot of these materials out of the landfill, he added.
Shinsato said they will be able to recycle an estimated 80 percent of all items that are donated.
But Goodwill won’t be using the entire building, Comfort said. A portion of it will be rented out for retail space.
For information on Goodwill Industries and its services visit www.goodwillotc.org