Forest Lake Goodwill to open in February

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

Customers can soon look forward to the mid-February opening of a new Goodwill in Forest Lake.

The 24th retail store is also the first to be LEED certified. The Goodwill location west of I-35 will be similar to Woodbury’s.

“We should be done with construction by the first of the year,” said David Wosika, superintendent for the contractor.

Savage-based Fendler Patterson Construction has completed work to the new 20,600-square foot building which is located on a 2.4 acre parcel at 231 SW 19th Street.

The retail store will open to the general public on Feb. 18, however, there is an opportunity for an advanced preview.

A fundraising event is planned for Feb. 17 where customers can shop merchandise at the Forest Lake Goodwill for three hours. There’s a $7 entrance fee, says Lisa Ritter, director of marketing.

Goodwill customers will enjoy a convenient drive-through donation center open daily and staffed by an attendant. Each location offers on-the-job training and skills development for participants while providing quality goods at remarkable prices, Ritter said.

Retail stores of the Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota generate more than $44 million in sales that directly support the local economy. That net revenue then helps fund training programs that put people to work.

The Forest Lake location is projected to employ over 35 fulltime and part-time individuals, Ritter noted.


Forest Lake is the only community that Family Pathways will coexist with a Goodwill. Family Pathways serves residents in 16 counties throughout Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, says executive director Rich Smith.

In addition to the thrift store located in the old Marketplace Foods building, the non-profit operates a food shelf and teen center at 935 S. Lake Street. Family Pathways also provides senior services.

Smith said his concern with having a Goodwill move to this area would be the impact on donations.

“Goodwill has a very well-known name,” he said, “I don’t know if Family Pathways has that type of recognition,” Smith added.

The Goodwill will be across the freeway from Community Helping Hand, 408 SW 15th Street. Rose Branville, store manager of CHH, had no comment.

Going Green

The United States Green Building Council has established the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification created standards referred to as LEED.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.

A few examples of how Goodwill’s retail store in Forest Lake will meet LEED prerequisite for:

• Efficiencies with water use for irrigation and indoor plumbing;

• Optimize energy performance with temperature and lighting controls;

• Locally sourced and manufactured materials, as well as materials containing recycled content;

• Indoor environmental quality with green cleaning program; and

• Substainable site.

Ritter said it was the objective of the developer, Oppidan, Inc., to meet the minimum LEED standards in the newly constructed building.

“Obviously, sustainability is our future goal,” she added.


In 1919, the first chapter of Goodwill Industries west of the Mississippi was established in St. Paul by the Reverend Herbert J. Burgstahler. He sought to propagate the philosophy espoused by the founder of Goodwill Industries, Dr. Edgar J. Helms, and provide employment opportunities for the poor and disabled. From the basement of Central Park Methodist Church, Goodwill Industries of St. Paul embarked on a storied and successful mission to provide innovative programs and services that promote economic self-sufficiency for people with disadvantages and disabilities.

Since 1984, Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota has provided employment services for people with barriers to employment, education and independence. In the past year, over 15,000 individuals received 31,000 services, including job skills training (automotive, banking/finance, construction, medical office and  retail), job placement and free medical equipment loans. Revenues from 24 retail stores, along with other contributions, support these programs at 48 service locations in Minnesota and in Hudson, WI.