Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit officially announced plans to build its first location in Oakland County by breaking ground on a new, 15,000 square foot store in Commerce on Thursday.
It will be the third Goodwill store in the suburban Detroit area for the national nonprofit organization, which re-entered the thrift store market about two years ago by first opening in Canton and then in Dearborn. It's the first Goodwill store in the area which will be built in newly-constructed retail space, this one at the corner of Haggerty Highway and Crumb Road, north of Maple Road.
West Bloomfield Patch readers may recall debate at West Bloomfield Town Hall regarding Goodwill's request for an exception from local ordinance which was necessary in order to build in the location of the current .
Goodwill's Director of Donated Goods, Jeffrey Ukrainec, said that a desired ecological "footprint" for the proposed store kept it from moving into other vacant locations in West Bloomfield. Building from scratch allows the site to reach Goodwill's standards for safety and expediency for donors, he added.
"By building from the ground up, it's very exciting for us, because you can get your 'footprint' exactly as you want it, so it will be very functional," Ukrainec said, in a small crowd with township officials at the groundbreaking ceremony.
"If you’ve gone to our stores in Dearborn or Canton, you know that we’ve re-branded ourselves. It’s more of an upscale-looking, high-end store with wood flooring and plasma TVs. That’s why we’re looking at going into communities like these."
Ukrainec added that the new store is expected to open in June with a newly-hired, locally-based staff of 25. The store will accept donations of gently used clothing, furniture and other housewares on site.
Commerce planner Kathleen Jackson said that the new store will fill a need for development at an important location: "It's developing a corridor that we have been trying to get developed for a while, that being Crumb Road ... it's not going to make traffic any more congested on Haggerty and it will benefit Commerce Township residents as well as adjacent localities."