Goodwill eyeing Lyn-Lake location

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September 21, 2012 by Sarah M

Change in zoning code opens door for secondhand store

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//By Dylan Thomas//

CARAG — It’s been years since Goodwill Industries last operated one of its secondhand stores in Minneapolis, but now the social services nonprofit is planning a return to the city.

Goodwill unveiled plans for a three-story, 30,000-square-foot building in the Lyn-Lake area less than two months after the City Council voted in August to relax zoning code restrictions on stores selling secondhand goods. Goodwill has tentative agreements in place to lease or purchase two Lyndale Avenue parcels just south of Lake Street and aims to open a retail store on the site by spring 2014, said Laura Moore of Moore and Co. Commercial Real Estate.

It would include about 14,000 square feet of retail space and Goodwill offices on the upper floors, said Moore, confirming the details of a proposal shared at the September CARAG Zoning Committee meeting.

Moore said Goodwill representatives were meeting with city officials but had not submitted any plans as of Sept. 20.

Previously, zoning code required businesses dealing in secondhand goods to remain at least 1,000 feet apart. Nearby businesses include the Corner Store, a shop specializing pre-worn Levi’s and other vintage clothing at Bryant & Lake, and June, and “upscale resale” shop at 3406 Lyndale Ave. S.

Moore said the ordinance had kept Goodwill from opening a store in Minneapolis for a number of years. Goodwill was drawn to the Lyn-Lake area because of the active retail environment, she added.

“Goodwill doesn’t want to be in an undesirable retail location,” she said. “They think like a traditional retailer.”

She said Goodwill was considering one of its familiar secondhand stores selling used clothing, household goods and furniture, and not one of its newer, boutique-style Second Debut shops. Revenues from both types of stores support Goodwill’s social services mission, including job training and family support.

Plans for the building include a driveway leading to and from an enclosed drop-off area. There would also be a surface parking lot next to the building.

Aaron Rubenstein, who chairs the CARAG Zoning Committee, said store representatives anticipated “quite a bit of traffic” at the site.

“They said when the store is mature, it could be 125 drop-offs per day,” Rubenstein said.

Those present at the neighborhood meeting included both CARAG Zoning Committee members and several local business and property owners. Reactions to the plan included “a range of opinions,” Rubenstein said.

“Some were concerned about the Goodwill brand and how its image will fit with where people want to see the intersection go,” he said, but others reacted favorably to the proposal.

The two properties Goodwill is looking at are 3020 and 3034 Lyndale Ave. S., an unoccupied single-family residence and the single-story commercial building housing H Design Salon & Spa, respectively.

“We are in the process of determining right now if Goodwill is going to lease or purchase,” Moore said.

Once that is decided, applications will be filed with the city. Construction could begin as soon as 2013, she said.

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