Bigger is better as Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity ReStore finds roomy new digs in Greeley Mall

If Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity had to choose a mantra for 2022, it should be: “Out with the old, in with the new.”

The nonprofit’s ReStore is undertaking a big new endeavor, both literally and figuratively.

The organization announced it has landed a lease to take over the old JCPenney building at 2080 Greeley Mall. The Greeley location was one of more than 154 stores, including one in Fort Collins, that were shuttered in the summer of 2020. Since its closing, the building has sat empty.

“One of our former board members is a retired commercial broker, so we kind of set him out on search about two years ago,” said Cheri Witt-Brown, executive director of Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity. “We frankly have been looking ever since I became the Habitat executive director, since 2016.”

Habitat tried to purchase the building where it is currently located at 2400 29th St., and at one point, Witt-Brown and the organization had a contract drawn up. But when the pandemic hit, everything closed down, and the offer was taken off of the table.

“The owner of that building decided they didn’t want to sell portions of the building, they wanted to sell the whole thing,” Witt-Brown said.  “We were getting so worried because we knew that eventually that building would be sold, which it did.”

After looking at another location in the mall, the management company offered the old JCPenney spot to the organization, which Witt-Brown and ReStore Director Lew Sevestre were happy to jump on.

The new location will give the store 10,000 square feet of space to display items, collect donations and house inventory.

The department store left all of its merchandise shelving and racks, which will be used in helping set up the new store with unneeded pieces being sold or recycled, Sevestre said.

Customers will also have more check stands to purchase items at with updated computer registers that can log inventory and donated items immediately after they have been dropped off and checked in.

“As soon as an item is sold, it will come off of our inventory,” Sevestre said.

Though the organization isn’t looking to do major remodeling to the space, they have removed some of the walls to open up the area and are removing the old carpet and tile. The flooring will be replaced with polished cement, which will allow for durability and ease of care. Sevestre said they also installed a new LED lighting system.

The organization received $19,000 from a local lighting company for the LED lighting. For the flooring, a local flooring contractor contributed more than $7,000. Both helped the nonprofit complete the upgrades without having to dip into its savings.

“Again, it’s generous community partners like that that really helps us make this all possible,” Witt-Brown said.

The old hair salon will be transformed into administrative offices and a play area for children of parents getting assistance services.

The move to the mall will allow the organization to consolidate all of its staff to the new location, which is the first time in 34 years that everyone has been housed under one roof.

Leanna’s Closet, a separate nonprofit that has been sharing a spot in the ReStore, will also make the move. The nonprofit provides professional clothing for women in need who are working or are applying for work.

The added space and prime location will continue to help the organization increase its revenue, which has seen substantial increases over the past six years, Witt-Brown said. Revenue helps cover administrative overhead costs and reinvest profit back into the organization.

“We hired Lew 4 1/2 years ago, and he just turned our store around,” Witt-Brown said. “We went from maybe $400,000, maybe $500,000 sales on a good year to almost a $1 million store.

“He was second in the nation for overall sales growth back in 2018, which is a lot because there are 1,300 affiliates across the nation.”

The new location is expected host soft openings by the end of February with the grand opening set for Saturday, March 5. Until then, customers can continue to shop or drop off donations at the store’s current location.

For more information on the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity organization or ReStore, go to

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