Nine months to the day since it opened in November, the Metropolitan Development Councils ReHarvest Center celebrated a second grand opening Friday.
The ReHarvest Center – a non-profit program designed to create employment opportunities through salvaging reusable products – has moved from its former location at 9614 20th Ave. E. to 1113 St. Paul Ave.
This location, I think its better, said Manny Cepriano, ReHarvest Center sales and acquisition representative.
He cited the more affordable rent and the greater traffic flow – the ReHarvest Center is located right off of the east side of the Murray Morgan Bridge, which connects downtown Tacomas 11th Street with the port activities on the Tideflats.
Weve had a lot of people come in, he said of the all day – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – grand opening celebration, complete with decorative balloons and refreshments for those who came by.
He also lauded the old wooden buildings character, which is in keeping with the centers dedication to recycling.
This has more of a rustic feel, he said. But its a neat building.
The ReHarvest Centers new home is only about a third the size of the centers previous home, a metallic warehouse that he characterized as generic.
The building contains about 4,700 square feet of indoor space and about the same amount of outdoor space, said Jan McLellan, ReHarvest Center program administrator.
The smaller size of the building, however, works to the ReHarvest Centers advantage, Cepriano explained.
We can be a little more selective of the quality of products we take as donations, he said.
The service provided by the ReHarvest Center works like this: Structures are dismantled board by board and nail by nail by workers using small hand tools. Recovered materials are then made available for sale at the ReHarvest Center, usually at prices based on 40 percent to 60 percent of retail value.
Weve got a little bit of everything, Cepriano said.
Items reclaimed include – but are not limited to – beams, dimensional lumber, cabinetry, doors, windows, masonry, fixtures, trim, landscaping and architecturally sensitive and historically significant items.
Donations are accepted at the center, and are reviewed to see if they are appropriate. Donators receive a tax deductible receipt for their contribution.
Its always affordable, said James Southern, Jr., ReHarvest Centers lead deconstruction technician, of the lower cost materials available to customers.
These marked down goods are perfect for people on a budget or those who cant otherwise afford to pay full retail price for new construction materials.
Senior citizens can find things they need here, Southern pointed out, as an example.
There is also a new wood craft section, McLellan noted, with items for sale that were constructed by the centers own employees.
The ReHarvest Center, however, provides much more than recycling and better prices on construction stock.
It also provides work training and employment opportunities for area residents.
It creates jobs, said Southern, who spends his work days taking apart buildings and gathering the materials that are sold by the ReHarvest Center.
And Southern is a man who enjoys his work.
Its fun, he said, because you get to see how things are put together, taking them apart.
A seemingly permanent smile plastered on her face, McLellan seemed happy – if a little tired – with the days grand opening.
As for the future, she said she was looking into having some repair work done on the buildings exterior.
She is also concerned about the possible closing of the Murray Morgan Bridge, which could hurt drive-by traffic.
Tacomas ReHarvest Center came to fruition after MDC officials got a look at a deconstruction retail facility in Portland, Ore. Following some research and a feasibility study, as well as a grant to secure initial capital funds for the project, the ReHarvest Center opened on Nov. 8, 2002.
The ReHarvest Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The ReHarvest Center can be reached at 253/531-5845.