News Column

Artist co-op will close, Habitat ReStore will open in Collister Center

June 17, 2014

By Dana Oland, The Idaho Statesman

June 17--Green Chutes' planned move within the Collister Shopping Center is off, and the artist co-o will close instead. June 21 is the final day of business.

In April, the mall's co-owner Phil Voorhees informed the owners of Green Chutes and Kind Cuisine -- a restaurant that shared the gallery space -- that they would have to move to accommodate a new tenant -- Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a business that will lease out the entire space.

Green Chutes, 4716 W. State St., opened in 2010 and showed the work of between 85 and 95 area artists.

Voohees also is a partner and investor in Green Chutes and in the original Salt Tears that opened in the space in 2010 and closed earlier this year. He had worked out a deal to jump-start both businesses by charging a rent based on a percentage of sales. That worked for a while, he says, but the new space, formerly occupied by Four Star Restaurant Supply, required far more renovation than expected. Voorhees was force to move to a more traditional rental agreement, which Green Chutes could not manage, he says.

"It's not self-sustaining at this time," Voorhees says. "There's no intent to be hard on the artists and this isn't a landlord trying to blow a tenant out. It's a great business, but we just can't afford to keep it going at this time."

Voorhees also took a significant loss when the restaurant Salt closed earlier this year, he says. But he will continue to back Kind Cuisine, an organic and natural foods restaurant from former Kulture Klatsch co-owner and chef Michelle Reynolds and her partners Amy Schloss and Genene Gregor.

They currently are renovating the space at 4628 W State St, Boise, on the east side of the center. It should be open by early August, about the same time ReStore plans its soft opening. The grand opening is planned for mid August, says Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity's director Tom Lay.

This is the second ReStore in the Treasure Valley. The first is at 10537 W. Overland Road, in Boise. ReStore sells new and nearly new building supplies and is the national brand for Habitat for Humanity. There are 750 ReStores across the country and although it is a national business the profits stay local to support the nonprofit's mission to build affordable, clean, well-built housing that allows low income families to own their homes.

"We want the center to be an anchor for the neighborhood and to have businesses that add value to the community," Voorhees says. "We're very exited to have ReStore opening. It's a great match for us."


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Source: Idaho Statesman (Boise)

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