Goodwill Industries secures future Pasco store site

Goodwill Industries of the Columbia will build a store in Pasco after securing a site next to Walmart.

The store will mirror the newly built Kennewick Goodwill. However, it will not take shape for several years, said Ken Gosney, executive director for the nonprofit, which serves people with disabilities.

Goodwill paid $1.17 million for a 4.54-acre undeveloped site at Wrigley Drive and North Road 76 in a deal that closed shortly before Halloween. The property borders the Pasco Walmart, 4820 N. Road 68, to the north.

Gosney said Goodwill was drawn by projections that Pasco will gain 50,000 residents in coming decades.

“It made sense for us to have a location in that shopping corridor,” he said. It will take several years to move forward with actual construction.

The Pasco store will mirror the $3.1 million Goodwill store and warehouse that opened in Kennewick in mid-2019.

The 20,000-square-foot store at 345 S. Columbia Center Blvd. is evenly split between retail and warehouse space and employs between 30 and 35 workers. The Columbia Center store replaced Kennewick and east Kennewick shops, both leased.

Goodwill relies on a retail-based earned revenue strategy to support its service mission.

It borrowed money to build the Kennewick store, repaying the loan with proceeds from retail sales.

Gosney said it will employ a similar approach in Pasco.

It has a strong preference to own rather than lease its buildings. Once the mortgages are paid off, proceeds go back into serving clients.

“Long term, that’s a much better option,” he said.

Gosney said it contemplated a fundraising campaign but prefers not to compete with its fellow nonprofits for capital donations.

The community, he said, already supports it through donations of household goods and other items. 

Gosney conceded the nonprofit was nervous about committing so much money to the Pasco site during a pandemic that closed its stores for more than three months. He praised the seller, Kidwell Family LLC, for being patient while it worked through its due diligence and waited to see if the public would return to its stores when they reopened.

“We didn’t want to pull the trigger during the shutdown,” he said. He notes it paid employees even when they were unable to work. 

Fortunately, customers returned. Gosney said donations were strong.

“The better we do on the retail side, the better we do on the mission side,” he said.

Goodwill Industries of the Columbia reported $19.6 million in revenue and $16 million in expenses in its most recent 990 filing with the Internal Revenue Service. It employed 636 and valued net assets at $29.4 million.

Its four top executives, including Gosney, earned a combined $530,000 in salary.

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