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Salvation Army planning store in Hastings at former Midtown Foods site

By the time school starts this fall, Hastings could be home to a new Salvation Army family store and donation center.

"Family store is the term we use for thrift store," explained Bill Price, the administrator of the Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center.

The organization is looking at 1110 Vermillion St., a 18,000 square-foot space beside Thrifty White Drug. Lease negotiations should be finalized within the next 30 days, Price said.

The Hastings store has been a long time coming.

"We've been working on this project for almost a year," Price said.

Why Hastings?

"We really want to have a better presence in Dakota County," Price said. "The only store we have in the south metro is in Burnsville."

The Salvation Army only has eight stores in the Twin Cities area. A location in Hastings would help the organization expand its service.

"There's a lot of areas we are not serving in terms of stores and donation centers," Price said. "...And Hastings is one of them."

The store could open within 60 days of the day they sign the lease, Price said.

"We'd love to be open before school starts," he said.

The store will be a self-processing store, meaning all donations get processed on-site. Donations they can sell get priced and put out for resale and the rest goes to recycling.

Accepted donations include gently used clothing, household items, furniture, electronics, games and toys.

A Salvation Army thrift store is more than a place to find low prices.

"I use three words to describe what we do," Price said. "Give, shop and heal."

The giving comes from people who donate, shopping turns donations into cash and that cash supports the ARC, where people can find healing, he explained.

Family stores directly support the ARC, located in Minneapolis. The ARC is a long-term residential recovery center for men. The Hastings store would be the ninth in the Twin Cities supporting the ARC.

The ARC does not receive any funds from the government, United Way, or any other Salvation Army funds other than the family stores.

Once the lease is signed, the store will open to receive donations, Price said. At that time, a banner or sign would go up notifying the public. After that, the store will start accepting applications.

"For the most part, the staff of our store will come from the Hastings area," Price said.

The store, Price said, would be a good fit in Hastings. It would offer employment opportunities, give people "a great place to shop, great stuff and tremendous values," he said.

"We think it will be a great addition to what's happening in Hastings."