2nd Goodwill store proposed for Mason draws questions

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Projected location of the new Goodwill from Google Maps.

Goodwill Industries plans to build a new retail store in Mason, but some citizens have concerns.

Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan’s Heartland, Inc. submitted an application for development of a retail store at 652 Hull Road. The Planning Commission granted approval with conditions such as the installation and maintenance of sidewalks and public utilities including but not limited to water, sewer, and storm drainage. A special-use permit and final site plan were discussed at Feb. 12 Planning Commission meeting. Mason currently has a Goodwill on Cedar Street. Senior Vice President of Retail Sales and Donated Goods Mark Peters said the new location would allow the business to expand more than the retail store.

“We are very excited,” Peters said. “Mason is a nice community and, after 10 years, we feel comfortable enough to buy property, to buy a nice, new facility and also to expand our workforce development service.”

Those services include financial and youth services. Financial services range from budgeting and first-time home buyer classes to bankruptcy preparation and tax filing assistance.

Peters said a main focus of Goodwill is young people. Those coming out of high school are not all college bound, and Goodwill wants to provide anyone in need with guidance.

Plans for the 15,772-square-foot commercial building have some Mason citizens worried about the small-town feel of the community .

Sarah Hunt has roots in Mason that date back more than 100 years. She said the site of the new Goodwill has sentimental value.

“I think that’s the lot that a house used to be on that was torn down,” Hunt said. “As a child, I remember that’s how I knew I was leaving town, I’m going into the country. It’s the little things like that, that define small-town living. With everything growing and expanding, the idea of keeping my hometown small and inviting just seems like an important thing to do.”

Mason resident Michelle Peterson said she would rather support local businesses.

“We need to support our small businesses that do good things for our community,” Peterson said. “The couple who run In the Corner, are amazing, kind every time we go in, and they give 40 percent of their profits to Building 21. That is a company I support.”

Development is still in the beginning stages and construction would likely begin in the summer. The projected opening is summer of 2020.