Society of St. Vincent de Paul Relocating to North Austin
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Relocating to North Austin
January 26, 2016
Nonprofit is converting a vacant grocery building to accommodate executive offices, thrift retail, donation processing/warehouse, client services and a coffee shop/deli
AUSTIN, Texas – January 26, 2016 – CBRE announces that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Diocesan Council of Austin (the Society), a nonprofit organization serving Central Texas since 1961 with origins from post-revolutionary France, has purchased a vacant retail center at 901 West Braker Lane in north Austin, Texas. The nonprofit plans to convert a 25,000-square-foot building, which formerly housed a grocery store, into offices, thrift retail, a donation processing and storage warehouse, and a coffee shop and deli. Upon completion in spring 2016, the Society will relocate its existing thrift store from 1327 South Congress and officially open the Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store.
“We are pleased to expand our programming throughout the Diocese of Austin. The Society is excited about the possibilities this larger, consolidated facility will afford us in service to our community,” said Society Executive Director Stacy Ehrlich, CFRE.
Half of the building will be devoted to thrift retail, a coffee shop that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a warehouse for donation intake, processing and storage. The other half will include a food pantry, a computer lab for training and education classes, and executive offices. The Society will use seven offices for store and executive staff; eight additional offices will be available for other nonprofit and government partners who provide complementary community services.
“We are not duplicating efforts and are instead, inviting other providers into this space as a collaborative way to serve the community. Our hope is that this new site can be a one-stop-shop for those we serve,” added Ehrlich.
The coffee shop and deli will serve low-cost, highly nutritional food for retail patrons, Society staff and neighbors. It will offer frequent discount days for a limited number of neighbors, and the space will also be used for community nutrition and cooking classes. Restaurant operations will be managed by Carlos Chan and Lorena Alcaraz of 2 For 1 Grill, Austin.
The Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store is located on three major Capital Metro bus lines and is adjacent to McBee Elementary and near Walnut Creek Elementary, two Title I schools. The Store operations will continue to be managed by Paul Kleypas, Stores Director since 1999. Client Services and Executive Offices will be under the direction of Ehrlich.
“We worked with the Society to determine its real estate requirements and then compared its services with demographics and transportation, ultimately deciding to target the North Austin area. We scoured the area for all potential sites in the preferred size range and considered a number of good sites, but as we toured and began investigating the 901 West Braker site, we all had a strong sense that it was the clear choice for the Society,” said W. Gaines Bagby, First Vice President, CBRE. “With the help of Planning and Zoning expert Amelia Lopez Saltarelli, Levy Architects and general contractor Drolette Construction, the fit was confirmed, and the process of pricing and City approvals began. As that process was completed, the Society closed escrow last month and is under construction, expecting to occupy the new building in April 2016.”
Mr. Bagby and Ace Schlameus, with CBRE’s Austin office, represented the Society in the site search and lease negotiations. Richard Hall, with KW Commercial, represented the seller, Lu Grocery Center, LP. Daniel Inda with LEVY Architects is the lead designer and Lee Combs of Emerson Group serves as project manager from the property search forward. Nicole Kornegay and Sean Dalle of Drolette Construction are the Society’s General Contractors on the renovation of all 25,000 square feet.
The Society recently sold its South Congress property, which it held for more than 30 years in partnership with The Ladies of Charity – Austin. To continue service for South Austin and the outlying area of The Diocese, the Society is creating a mobile thrift program with the assistance of Mission Capital, formerly Greenlights, through its Mission Accelerator program. Mobile Thrift is expected to be up and running by early summer 2016.
The Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store will be another extension of the Society’s longstanding commitment to serving those in need. In addition to providing financial assistance and spiritual support through home visits, the Society collaborates in local disaster response, administers a Predatory Loan Conversion program, and offers minor home repairs. Last year, the Society provided $4.6 million in direct aid to 160,000 Central Texans; with in-kind donations and volunteer services, the Society’s overall community impact totals $10 million.
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