It may have to be torn down if a court decides the Goodwill Superstore won’t stay, but Goodwill Manasota confidently broke ground Tuesday afternoon for its new store at North Trail and Mecca Drive.
The store is tabbed for a fall opening, most likely in December, of the plan.
The case doesn’t seem to be of concern for Goodwill Manasota.
“We’re not going to wait for the Supreme Court to tell us to go to the doctor,” Goodwill Manasota CEO the Rev. Donald Roberts told Patch.
Paige McMichael of North Trail Citizens, the group that opposed the Goodwill, issued a press release stating that the non-profit is proceeding at its own risk and would have to get new approval from the city or tear down the construction site if Robert Casella wins his case.
“While the demolition of any construction on the site is simply a matter of wasted funds in most cases, unfortunately any trees destroyed by Goodwill in the interim are not so easily replaced,” McMichael wrote.
Roberts said, “that’s why we have the judicial system. We’re well within our right to do this.”
During the ceremony, the focus was on the positive and the future of what the store would bring to a vacant lot at 5100 N. Tamiami Trail that once housed Café of the Arts before it was destroyed by a fire in 2006. (The cafe since re-opened across the street.)
“We turn your donations of discards and dollars into good jobs, good homes and good neighborhoods,” Roberts said.
The super store will replace the .
Goodwill has more than 40 locations throughout the Sarasota and Bradenton region, has received 650,000 donations to create 500 jobs at Goodwill, Roberts said.
The shopping has reached $25 million in revenue to serve the community, he added.
“We build these buildings to build a life transforming Mecca for the men and women that Goodwill Industries serve,” Roberts said.
The new location will:
• create 20 new jobs
• be 30,000 square feet
• 1,891 square feet to used for mission services and GoodNeighbor Services
• 16,327 square feet of retail space
• have two free electric car charging stations
• SCAT bus stop
• Energy-efficient air conditioning, lighting, air conditioning and roofing
“This building will not only be the doorway for the North Trail as it goes into town, it’s going to be a doorway of opportunity for those in need in our community,” said Bob Rosinsky, president of Goodwill Manasota.
Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell stressed what Goodwill can provide, through what she’s seen through her 20 years of social work in the city.
“I have had many clients who used the services of Goodwill, and I completely understand the value that you provide,” she said.
Atwell added that Goodwill is the “ultimate standard in helping people to improve their lives, education and employment training and support services that will pull this community forward.”