In this season of giving, it’s only fitting that the new Bend Area Habitat ReStore was recently unveiled. And even if you aren’t in the market for recycled building materials, appliances, gently used furniture and/or home accessories, it’s worth checking out: Bend’s revamped and relocated retail offshoot of Habitat for Humanity (the global non-profit dedicated to providing affordable home ownership and home repair services for low income families and individuals) is an impressive study in community-wide collaboration.
With the donated skills of Stemach Design & Architecture and more than 27,000 volunteer hours of labor, the former Backstrom Builders Center has undergone a massive $500,000 renovation. The result is a dynamic 18,000-square-foot home-improvement center stocked with innovative details aplenty.
First and foremost, the new ReStore is (no surprise) constructed of cleverly recycled materials. Here are a few of its distinctive touches:
- The existing building was stripped and gutted with a sizable portion of the materials being reused and re-purposed (for example, the metal roofing was reused as siding).
- The exterior cedar-plank siding is made entirely of reclaimed cedar decking that was donated (the cedar is intended to age naturally and turn silver over time).
- A custom light fixture, made of reclaimed wood and copper pipe, was designed and built by Stemach Design & Architecture for the store’s entry vestibule.
- Portions of the existing structures were removed and rebuilt using energy-efficient staggered stud construction and site-built windows using donated copper and insulated glass units.
- Most of the store’s windows and several doors were Habitat donations that were integrated into the design; all of the store’s interior lighting fixtures were donations to ReStore.
- The front desk countertop was donated by Eco Crush and made from remnants of ReStore’s broken windows; the cabinetry and interior finishes were donated by Parker Woodworks.
- The store’s hardware shelving was reclaimed for the price of the shelves ($132) from the Bend Sears store that closed.
Special kudos to Stemach Design & Architecture, which donated more than $20,000 in design time. With their funky, outside-the-box exterior design, they set the tone for the center beautifully. There’s no doubt here that tradition was thrown out the window — and even a cursory glance at the building invites viewers to imagine the possibilities (I spent a good five minutes circling the exterior, my curiosity piqued, examining the various materials used before I even ventured inside).
Of course, inside you’ll find all the standard home-improvement fare — paint, lighting, hardware, plumbing, appliances, doors and windows, lumber, cabinetry — along with a few things that aren’t found anywhere else: One section of the store is devoted to CUPs (Creative Upcycled Projects), where artistic ReStore volunteers transform broken, repeatedly discounted or overlooked ReStore merchandise into fun and funky home furnishings and décor.
Also on view now is ReStore’s “Doors to the Future” art show/fund-raiser, in which local artists have turned recycled doors into artworks that are being sold via a silent auction (which runs through Jan. 9).
In case you were wondering, the proceeds from the ReStore are used to build Habitat for Humanity homes. The former ReStore financed nearly 75 percent of Habitat’s operations. However, the goal of the new ReStore is to establish greater revenues that will fund 100 percent of operations.
The new Bend ReStore is located at 224 NE Thurston, Bend (what appears to be the front of the building facing Thurston is actually the back of the building).
The store is open Tuesday-Friday 9 am-5 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm; donations are accepted Monday-Saturday 10 am-4 pm. (everything’s closed for the holidays Dec. 24-29 and Jan. 1.) 541-312-6709.
Here are a few more photos of the new ReStore:
About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.