NIAGARA FALLS – Property owners looking to buy vintage building materials like old windows, sinks, doors or doorknobs will have a new place to shop starting Friday. And contractors and homeowners will have a new place to take unwanted tiles, hinges, bannisters or lightswitch plates, instead of throwing them in the garbage.
The Isaiah 61 Project’s Reclaim Store will hold its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at its temporary location, 2411 Hyde Park Blvd., between Jerauld and Seneca avenues. The store’s regular hours will be Friday, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jim Haid, executive director of the Isaiah 61 Project, said having a store will benefit the Falls in several ways.
“It’s saving the landfills, it’s good material and people can purchase these things at certainly a reduced price, if they’re looking to get back to the original stuff,” Haid said.
The Isaiah 61 Project provides training in the construction trades to the unemployed or underemployed, while at the same time refurbishing homes in the city before they end up getting demolished.
Revenue from the store’s sales, beyond what it takes to cover the cost of operations, will be put into the program.
The store has a showroom for selected items in the front with a warehouse in the back – all of which will be open to the public.
Having a store in the area should save money for those having home renovations done by contractors, who typically charge for material removal and disposal. Staff of the reclaim store, who are graduates of the job-training program, will pick up the material for no charge.
The items for sale will also be cheaper than buying items new.
“If you’re looking for this kind of stuff, it saves you a trip to Buffalo,” Haid said.
Seth Piccirillo, the city’s director of community development, said the city provided $20,000 in U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding to Isaiah 61 officials to pay employees to salvage materials from abandoned homes slated to be demolished by the city.
Piccirillo noted that the project allows people to save craftsmanship of the past at a time when doing so is a popular thing.
“I think we’ve needed one for a long time,” Piccirillo said, pointing to existing re-use stores in Buffalo.
The Isaiah 61 Project has about 40 graduates, with another 30 set to graduate in July, when another class is scheduled to begin. Since classes started about a year and a half ago, about 70 percent of the graduates have found employment, Haid said.
Anyone wishing to donate to the store should call 425-9955 to arrange pickup of material. Donations may also be dropped off to the store.
Officials hope to have the store’s permanent location – a former fire hall on Highland and College avenues – ready for a soft opening around Labor Day. That property, which is being rehabilitated, will house the store and serve as the headquarters of the Isaiah 61 program.