MANATEE -- Goodwill Manasota is putting the finishing touches on its new headquarters at 2701 51st Ave. E. that will include a training center, retail store and corporate offices inside 69,605 square feet.
The Goodwill signs are up, the parking lot is mostly paved and landscaping is starting to take shape. Now workers at are preparing to pack their boxes for a July 17 move-in date at the retail center.
The store opening will come ahead of the headquarters opening, said Yen Reed, spokeswoman for Goodwill Manasota.
"We should all be in there by no later than October," she said.
The retail opening will be about two weeks ahead of schedule as Goodwill anticipated an August opening at its groundbreaking.
The headquarters and administrative offices will make up about 27,000 square feet of the building, designed by Fawley Bryant Architects in Bradenton, and the retail store and drive-through donation center will be 35,866 square feet.
A few changes will be in store for other Goodwill properties. The DeSoto Junction store, 3611 First St., will close in Bradenton and another yet-to-be-announced store will be converted into a drop-off donation center, Reed said.
"We don't normally bring merchandise in from one location to another, so we're going to have a closing sale," Reed said. Discounts will increase as the new store gets ready to open.
Goodwill hired about 20 to 30 people for the new location in addition to employees who wanted to transfer to the new store, Reed said.
The administrative headquarters at 7501 15th St. E. in Tallevast will remain open for Goodwill's salvage and transportation operations as well as its bargain bin store, Reed said.
The move allows Goodwill to consolidate administrative, service and educational operations for 50 to 60 people working throughout the Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto areas.
"We'll have an international training center for people from other Goodwills from all over North America. We will also have a comprehensive training program for all our employees," Goodwill Manasota president and chief executive officer Bob Rosinsky told the Herald before the groundbreaking last year.
Some folks in administration will remain in Tallevast for better logistics, Reed said. As for everyone else, employees are getting ready to move files and documents into their new space.
"We've been trying to coordinate moving dates and among different departments," Reed said. "We have six or seven departments going in."
Manasota Goodwill and NDC Construction President Ron Allen purchased the site for $600,000 in July 2013 for the 9.2 acres.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.