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Where's the Goodwill Store? - KOAM TV 7

Where's the Goodwill Store?

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

In 2014, Goodwill's game plan was to open a retail and distribution center in Pittsburg. They made a deal with an ownership group which built them a beautiful, 10,000 square foot building.

"For whatever reason, within weeks of stocking and opening that store, Goodwill changed their mind and they walked back that decision, but they had already signed a lease on that building with the owner of the building," said Blake Benson, president of the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce.

A realtor representing the building's owners said Goodwill is trying to sublease the property, and has no plans to open a Goodwill store. KOAM/Fox 14 reached out to Goodwill's corporate office in Wichita, but nobody was available to comment.

The city of Pittsburg isn't happy about the situation, but wants to make it clear: They weren't involved in this deal.

"The city has no money at all invested in the Goodwill project. There were no incentives issued for the Goodwill building. It was completely an agreement between Goodwill and the building owner," said Benson.

What really frustrates Pittsburg city officials about this vacant building, is that it gives people the wrong impression about Pittsburg's economy. A vacant building might make some people think the economy is on its way down, but that's not the case in Pittsburg.

"It's in a very visible spot. It's a spot that a lot of our residents and visitors drive by on a pretty regular basis, so they notice that building," said Benson.

The latest Pittsburg Micropolitan Area Economic Report showed Pittsburg's economy booming, with tourism playing a major role. City officials want another thriving business to cater to both locals and tourists. An empty building on North Broadway seems out of place.

"We really have relatively few empty buildings on Broadway in general, but especially on North Broadway. It's where a lot of our retail is located," said Benson.

But as long as Goodwill keeps paying the lease, how they use that building is up to them.

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