New store to open in Heritage Square commercial center
Work is under way to construct a Goodwill thrift store in Queen Creek.
(Read updated story: Goodwill to open Jan. 13 in Queen Creek)
The 25,000-square-foot building anchors the new Heritage Square commercial development under construction on a 14.5-acre site on the southeast corner of South Ellsworth and East Rittenhouse roads.
Goodwill Industries International Inc., is a nonprofit organization that provides job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have barriers preventing them from otherwise obtaining a job, according to its website: www.goodwillaz.org.
It is funded in part by the sales of used clothing, furniture and other household items at its resale stores. There are more than 70 Goodwill stores in Arizona, according to the website.
The Queen Creek Goodwill is expected to open in early 2017, Lea Soto, marketing manager for Goodwill of Central Arizona, said during a phone interview. The company hopes to open the site in January, she said.
“Queen Creek is a great community and this is a great opportunity to bring great thrift store shopping to the community,” Ms. Soto said.
The Heritage Square location is similar in size and will offer merchandise consistent with other Arizona Goodwill stores, Ms. Soto said.
She said the store will have wide aisles, be bright and well-lit and will offer “a lot of everything,” from household items, home decor, small electronics and appliances, decorations, clothing and books.
Its hours of operation will be the same as other Goodwill stores in Arizona: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
About 30 full- and part-time employees will be hired to staff the store, Ms. Soto said. The hiring process will begin soon, she said. People who are interested should visit www.goodwillaz.org to apply.
Some Queen Creek residents have expressed their concerns about negative elements the store could bring to the community. Queen Creek Councilman Jeff Brown recalled reading posts on Facebook from constituents who were apprehensive about the store looking like a dump due to people dropping off items overnight. In addition, residents were concerned the store could be a place for homeless people to set up residence even for one night, the councilman said in an e-mailed response to questions.
“In regard to any concerns with loitering at our stores, our teams handle any concerns case by case, taking care to adhere to city ordinances regarding loitering,” Ms. Soto said in an e-mailed response to questions. “You also asked about donations dropped off during after-hours. For those, we have cameras monitoring each location and our teams will pick up any after-hours donations.”
“It is part of our commitment to the community,” she said during her phone interview.
Another concern expressed on Facebook was that donations to Goodwill could lead to fewer donations to the Queen Creek Family Resource Center operated by the Queen Creek Unified School District, Councilman Brown said.
Family Resource Center is a referral center for families of students in need. It sends referrals to organizations such as the Department of Economic Security, Red Cross and Social Security, and to those nonprofit groups that offer mental, dental and vision services; clothing, food and adult education programs, among other services, according to the school district website: www.qcusd.org.
It is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday in a temporary location in Queen Creek Middle School, building G, room G-1, 20435 S. Old Ellsworth Road. For more information, call 480-987-5988.
Maria Silva, the special projects director for the Family Resource Center, does not see a conflict with Goodwill coming to the town.
She expects the Goodwill store will provide one more resource with which she can assist local families, she said during a phone interview.
Ms. Soto said a grand opening is planned for the Queen Creek store.
“Our grand openings are an exciting time,” she said. “That morning, we will have a ribbon-cutting, free coffee and donuts and have gift cards to give away.”
News Editor Wendy Miller can be contacted at 480-982-7799 and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @WendyNewszap123. Be sure to like us at www.facebook.com/Queen Creek/San Tan Valley Independent.