by Cassie Lipp
66 days ago
Posted In: COMMUNITY
at 04:23 PM | Permalink
Customers entering Building Value in Northside are greeted by a yard of
bathtubs, sinks and other home furnishings. It might seem like a graveyard for
building materials, but these old home fixtures are awaiting a new life.
This is confirmed by the set of child-sized lawn chairs by the store entrance.
Upon closer inspection it’s clear that the chairs are actually repurposed
shopping carts. Inside, customers bustle around the store through aisles of
cabinets, shelves and other furniture looking for a new home.
All of the goods available for purchase at Building Value are either donated by
homeowners who no longer use them or salvaged from demolished homes. Anything
bought here can be given a new life in another home rather than sitting in a
While two men get out a tape measure to see if their dream cabinets will fit
inside their kitchen, the store cat Bella Value perches atop the checkout
counter as the clerk asks a customer to sign a donation form.
“With or without the cat’s help?” he asks. Bella seems indifferent to the man’s
signature as he signs off on the goods he donated to the store.“Bella doesn’t actually itemize or give customers value for their stuff,” store
manager David Daniels says. “She is on payroll to take care of the mice.”
Building Value’s main mission is to employ people with disabilities and other
workplace difficulties and give them the training needed to obtain positions in
the construction field that pay livable wages.
Those who complete Building Value’s training program develop basic
deconstruction skills. They may then be hired by companies like Messer
Construction, a partner of Building Value.
“A combination of our program and our store work hand in hand,” Daniels says. “The
deconstruction part tears down buildings and brings it back to the store; the
store sells it so that we can make money to fund our mission.”
Instead of completely knocking a house to the ground, Building Value works to
take it apart piece by piece so that almost all parts are salvageable and able
to be resold in the store. All proceeds benefit programs at Easter Seals, a
nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for those with disabilities or
disadvantages to realize their full potential. The tristate chapter of Easter
seals founded the store in 2004.
“We’re trying to carefully remove items so that it can come here and get a
second life as the same thing or maybe repurposed,” Daniels says. “Our biggest
component here is how much stuff we divert from the landfill.”
The cheapest way to demolish a building is to completely raze it and dump all
of the components into a landfill, Daniels says. Although Building Value does
not demolish homes this way, having the service done by them may be comparable
or cheaper because the items salvaged for resale are tax-deductible donations.
“The thing that separates us from another business is that all the material
that comes back to the store is an actual tax write-off to the organization
that offsets their bill,” Daniels says.
Daniels says Building Value will take the bricks, wood floors, windows, staircases,
mantles and nearly any other part of a house. Customers could almost build a
house from the store’s materials. While this provides a low-cost alternative
for customers, it is also ideal for those who own older homes who may not be
able to find the parts they need at stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Building
Value’s inventory is more eclectic because it is sourced from donations and
changes every week.
The customers who shop at Building Value are contractors, house flippers and
those looking to repurpose old items — a group Daniels proudly calls “the
Pinterest crowd.” Since the key to making money off these ventures is finding
cheap materials, Building Value is an essential shopping destination for these
Before Daniels became the store manager, he flipped old houses and was a
frequent customer himself. He combines his skills from managing a Walgreens
store with his knowledge of what homebuilders need to run Building Value.
“[At Walgreens] I was working a lot of hours, but I was never inspired,” he
says. “This job inspires me — I come in on my day off every week.” Daniels says
rather than working hard to help Walgreens profit, he is now working hard for a
better cause. ”This store is a win-win situation,” he says. “The customers win,
the company wins, the environment wins. Nobody is getting a bad shake out of
For more information on BUILDING VALUE, visit buildingvalue.org.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 3, 2014
City Manager Harry Black on Dec. 1 issued new rules for city street closures due to construction
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Ohio and Kentucky transportation
officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to build a $2.4
billion span to serve as a companion to the Brent Spence Bridge. To lessen traffic on the Brent Spence,
which is over capacity, officials are recommending that a new
double-deck bridge be built just west of the existing span.
by Hannah McCartney
City's Department of Transportation says delays could last up to two years
The last time we reported on the Riverside Drive bike lane project, Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation was considering postponing the long-awaited project because of future construction on I-471. The delay is official. According the WVXU (91.7 FM), the city’s Transportation and Engineering Director, Michael Moore, told Laurie Keleher, the city liaison with the East End Area Council, in an email that the project was indefinitely postponed. The delay, said the email, could range from a year to two years. The idea for Riverside Drive bike lane project came about in summer 2011. Bike transportation proponents argue that the installation of bike lanes on Riverside Drive is a crucial step into making the street a safe channel for commute and leisure for East End residents. Currently, the road serves as a main thoroughfare for bikers and drivers from the East End to downtown, but problems with speeding and narrow paths along the side of the road pose serious safety risks for bikers. The plan to install bike lanes on Riverside Drive would potentially make the road less of a busy thoroughfare and more like a suburb road. The city is concerned that construction on I-471 will divert traffic to Riverside Drive; the bike plan mandates the removal of one lane on the road, meaning that, potentially, Riverside Drive would become clogged with commuters. According to construction plans, though, I-471 would remain open during the work. Columbia Parkway, which also runs from the East End downtown, is a far more viable alternative for commuters inconvenienced by I-471 construction. Speed limits on Columbia Parkway are higher than on Riverside Drive, and the infrastructure is markedly unfriendly for bikers, while Riverside Drive holds far more potential.According to an email from the East End Area Council to City Manager Milton Dohoney, the city’s decision to halt progress on the Riverside Drive project essentially means they’re going back on their word. “The City of Cincinnati has invested considerable time and money in various plans ... all of which seek to make walkability and bicycling an integral part of daily life in Cincinnati.” “We are dismayed that the City of Cincinnati Administration considers the convenience of the eastern suburban commuters who all speed through our neighborhood above the safety of the people who live and work in the East End,” reads the email. Queen City Bike also expresses concern over any form of delay in the plan.
"If this project is delayed, current budgetary realities lead Queen
City Bike to believe that the lane reconfiguration would be lost for the
foreseeable future. Any future reconsideration will almost certainly
require rerunning the considerable analysis that went into the decision,
effectively wasting the work done and taxpayer’s money spent so far.
Therefore, Queen City Bike opposes any delay in the Riverside Drive lane
reconfiguration," reads a post on Queen City Bike's website.
Want to contact the city's Department of Transportation? Click here.