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New thrift shop — with a side of downtown revitalization

am2There’s a new thrift shop in downtown Fresno. Team AMVETS opened a thrift shop in the big white building at 758 Broadway Street next to Tioga-Sequoia Brewing. It’s just two short blocks away from thrift shop row on Van Ness Avenue, where there’s a whole slew of thrift shops you can spend an afternoon sifting through.┬áThe AMVETS store, which is huge, sells men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, books, movies, vinyl records, couches and lots of office furniture.

If this store seems familiar, there’s a reason for that: It used to be an AMVETS thrift store years ago. The back story is that the shop couldn’t continue in the building unless it did some major repairs, so the organization moved the thrift shop to a new location that is still open at Shields and Cedar. Fast forward a few years and AMVETS, whose main goal is to provide services to veterans, is looking for a place to park a truck and store furniture for its Welcome Home program. That program helps furnish the homes of formerly homeless veterans who get housing help through the VA.

AMVETS still owned the downtown building and its thrift shop had been successful there before, said spokesman Doug Weber. It had a new board of directors who looked at the building with fresh eyes. And Weber specifically mentioned the board noticing the city of Fresno’s emphasis on revitalizing downtown.

“We were impressed with the city wanting to revitalize downtown,” he said.

The stars were aligned, he said, and the organization poured several hundred thousand dollars worth of repairs into the building. They dug up and replaced the concrete floors, and added all new electrical and air conditioning systems. The store reopened last month, with a small portion of it devoted to the Welcome Home program.

Responses to "New thrift shop — with a side of downtown revitalization"

Jeremy says:

I remember coming to this location as a kid, many memories. We’ll see if they have better customer service than the Shields location.

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