GOWANUS — The Salvation Army is renovating a 20,000-square-foot Gowanus warehouse into a distribution center for its Brooklyn and Manhattan thrift stores.
The charity filed permits Tuesday to remodel 109 Second Ave. (between 10th and 11th streets) and hopes to start using the building in roughly eight to 12 months, said the Salvation Army's Maj. Joe Irvine.
“We’re very excited,” Irvine said. “It’s the right time and right place. We can’t wait to get it finished and move into our new home.”
The renovation will add "a floor and a third," Irvine said, bringing the building's height from 19 feet to 56 feet, according to DOB records. Developer Slate Property Group will do the construction.
The renovated building will serve as a hub where workers will sort through the clothes and other donations the charity receives. The donations are sold in Salvation Army thrift stores, which are the sole funding source for the charity's Adult Rehabilitation Centers.
The Adult Rehabilitation Centers are free, faith-based centers where addicts get clean and learn job skills through a work therapy program that helps them "re-integrate themselves back into responsible society," Irvine said. Because of the religious component, the rehab centers don't take government funding and they also don't get any money from the Salvation Army's famed street kettles, Irvine said.
Some clients of the rehabilitation centers work at Salvation Army distribution centers and the Gowanus warehouse will employ several, Irvine said.
The new Gowanus distribution center will replace the Salvation Army's 22 Quincy St. location in Clinton Hill, which the charity sold in 2015 for roughly $30 million. The Salvation Army bought 109 Second Ave. for $10.15 million in 2015, according to city records.
The Salvation Army was on Quincy Street for about 100 years, Irvine said, but decided to leave in part because the building wasn't conducive to running an efficient operation. Clinton Hill had also changed, he noted, so moving made sense.
“That neighborhood has certainly become much more residential than in years past, so we’re trying to be good neighbors and give them their space,” Irvine said of the Quincy street building. “When we run a second shift or graveyard shift, we can make some noise."