Anne Knowles – The Nevada Appeal
May 10, 2017
The groundbreaking on Classy Seconds’ new location today is just the start of some big moves for the thrift shop’s owner.
Advocates for Domestic Violence (AEDV) plans eventually to build two more buildings on the three-acre parcel at 3591 Gordon St., off Highway 50, and move its offices and shelter there, too.
“For 15 years we saved like little misers, and we’re saving again,” said Lisa Lee, executive director, AEDV. “Hopefully within two years we’ll open our office there.”
A year after that, Lee hopes to move AEDV’s shelter for battered women and their children to the site.
“We want to have more of a community footprint,” said Lee. “It would be nice, for example, to open our parenting support group to the public.”
First, though, is Classy Seconds, the group’s busy thrift store that now provides about half its budget. The new 11,000 square foot building was designed by Darrin Berger, principal partner, Berger Hannifan Architecture LLP, and is being built by Shaheen Beauchamp Builders LLC.
The new location, across the highway from the Goodwill store, is ideal, said Lee.
“I realized we really needed to be near other thrift stores,” she said. “If you’re a thrifter you like to go from store to store.”
AEDV initially opened the shop 19 years ago because the group was inundated with donations and outgrew its storage space.
And Lee had the idea proceeds from a store could fund health benefits for the group’s employees.
“We turned a profit in the first month,” said Lee.
The store revenue has also provided flexible income for a group that relies heavily on grants with spending restrictions as well as money that can be put aside for the future.
Lee has had her eye on becoming property owners rather than renters.
“When you’re a tenant you don’t have security,” she said. Initially, she looked for existing space, which for the thrift store had to be zoned general commercial.
At first, she thought AEDV would find a building for Classy Seconds, then office space somewhere else and then an apartment building for the shelter in a third location.
Then she found the three-acre parcel on Gordon Street that could accommodate three buildings and the plans came together.
AEDV has long leased a building from the state which the group has lovingly refurbished over the years. So Lee expects the thrift store move to be easier than the office move.
“I love this building. I will cry,” said Lee. “The day we move out of here will be the hardest day of my life.”