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A Facelift for St. Vinnie's

Post-arson, a bright new look

by Anita LeBlanc

From the August, 2018 issue

Manager Kate Reeder says customers ... "say 'wow!' and think we've added on" when they see the recently reopened St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. She adds, "This is a brick building, so there was no room for expansion."

Built in 1832, the Anson Brown Building is the oldest commercial structure in Ann Arbor. The store's Cinderella story began with an arson fire there on May 8, 2017. The restoration, which cost $275,000, transformed the 2,000-square-foot shop from a cramped, dark, dingy space to a posh, light-filled boutique. (The fire is still under investigation.) Bamboo-colored laminate flooring, wood-and-glass self-serve jewelry towers, and soothing lavender-gray walls help create the spacious appearance. Gleaming new racks and shelving allow for easy access to men's and women's clothing and shoes, some still with their original tags, and small home goods and media. The two small former changing rooms were consolidated into one that sports a fancy bench and oversized mirror. The addition of two drinking fountains, air conditioning, and windows with sunshades are especially notable during heat waves. "We say 'cool store, hot prices,'" Reed laughs.

The store made an announcement on social media about its May soft opening. Much of its recent traffic, Reed says, has come by way of "folks in the neighborhood spreading the word."

Donations are taken at the store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday; there's also a donation box outside Ace Barnes Hardware on Stadium. The store turns fifty this month, and plans are in the works for fall celebration.

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, 1001 Broadway, (734) 761-1400. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sun. svdpaa.org     (end of article)

[Originally published in August, 2018.]

 



 
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