Scrap Exchange sets date for move

Jul. 01, 2014 @ 05:45 PM

The Scrap Exchange has set the date for its anticipated move to a permanent home in Lakewood Shopping Center. The non-profit re-use center will own the building, allowing the organization to put on more programs reflective of its mission, organizers say.

The Scrap Exchange will open to the public in its new space at 2050 Chapel Hill Road at 10 a.m. Aug. 16, the organization’s board announced this week. From Aug. 11-15, the staff will be moving from its current home in the Cordoba Center for the Arts at 923 Franklin St. A grand opening will be announced later.
“We’re really going to be able to design the space in such a way that reflects our mission,” said Ann Woodward, executive director of The Scrap Exchange. The Scrap Exchange purchased the building, the former Duke Surplus store, in December last year for $840,000. The organization set the goal of owning its space before the 2011 collapse of part of the Liberty Warehouse roof. That collapse forced Scrap Exchange and other tenants to move. The Scrap Exchange moved across the street, then to the Cordoba Center.
The organization had hoped to make the Cordoba Center its permanent home, but could not reach a price agreement with the landlord, Woodward said. This week, contractors began renovating the heating and air-conditioning at the Chapel Hill Road site. The roof also will be fixed before the move-in date, Woodward said. 
In its Lakewood building, the Scrap Exchange will continue to have its Green Gallery room for rotating exhibits, and its popular make-and-take area. In the future, Woodward said she would like to have a welding shop, a wood shop, a community garden, and perhaps a weekend market space.
The Scrap Exchange’s space in the Cordoba Center is 22,000 square feet. The Lakewood building is 23,000 square feet, with two stories. The upstairs will be office space, and the lower floor has two bays left over from when the building was a movie theater, said Margaret McNab, president of the Scrap Exchange board. They have been working with an architect to find the best way to use the space, she said.
Ownership will allow the organization “to have more control over the environment and our space … to make it our home,” McNab said. The staff has met at the Lakewood site several times, and were so excited about the new space that they bumped up the move to August, she said. “We’re seasoned movers now,” McNab said.
The Food Lion grocery store is the anchor tenant at Lakewood, and Woodward said she was looking forward to being near a business that draws in customers. Business owners in Lakewood said they also are looking forward to the traffic that Scrap Exchange will bring. In 2013, the organization served 250,000 people through its retail store, outreach program and design center, according to a release. Len Lilly, owner of 40 Below Barber Shop, said the foot traffic will likely bring more customers. He also cited the number of nearby apartments within walking distance, which also could bring more customers to Scrap Exchange. Tamika Powell, manager of the It’s Fashion Metro store, also is looking forward to more customers and traffic. “More is always better,” she said.
The move also should bring more clientele to Food Lion, and bring some needed business to Lakewood, said Brandon Brooks, customer service manager at the store. “We are supportive of new businesses in the area and we look forward to the continued growth of this shopping center,” said Benny Smith, a spokesman for Food Lion’s offices in Salisbury, N.C.  The addition of The Scrap Exchange “will help us and we are very supportive of that,” he said.
Founded in 1991, The Scrap Exchange has been collecting materials from businesses and residents that otherwise might be tossed into a landfill, and selling them at low cost. Materials for sale include everything from fabric to wood to flagstones to paper to vinyl records. The organization’s mission, according to its website, is “to promote creativity, environmental awareness, and community through re-use.”