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Second Habitat LV ReStore to Open at Former Neighbors Property in Hellertown

Habitat Restore

Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley purchased the site at 38 Main Street in late April and plans to open a second ReStore location there in the fall, Habitat Director of Operations All Ingram said Friday.

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The main building at the former Neighbors Home & Garden Center on Main Street will become the second Lehigh Valley ReStore operated by Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley. The nonprofit organization recently purchased part of the Neighbors property, where it will also add office space. Before the new ReStore opens this fall, the building will be renovated and exterior improvements will be made at the site, Habitat officials said.

Nearly four years after Neighbors Home & Garden Center closed its doors, plans have been announced for the commercial property that is located at the south end of Main Street in Hellertown.

Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley purchased the site in late April and plans to open a second ReStore location there in the fall, Habitat Director of Operations Alli Ingram said Friday.

The Lehigh Valley ReStore, which has a location on Grape Street in Whitehall, is a retail home and building supply center selling gently used and new items–everything from home décor to paint as well as furniture and building supplies–that have been donated by area residents and businesses. The store’s sales support Habitat’s mission to build safe, affordable local housing as well as funds their Critical Home Repair Program. 

Ingram explained that Habitat’s Critical Home Repair Program was created for local, low-income homeowners who can’t afford to do things like replacing a leaking roof or installing a chair lift to a second story. It has recently seen explosive growth, with close to 100 families receiving some form of assistance over the past two years. Many of the people who have benefited from the critical repair program are seniors and veterans, as well as those who need ADA accessibility modifications.

The search for a second ReStore location began two years ago, Ingram said, and initially was focused on sites that were available to lease. However, it soon became clear that the cost to rent a commercial space would be several times more than a mortgage on the Neighbors property, which has been vacant since the business closed in the summer of 2020. That helped to seal the deal.

On Friday, Habitat staff and volunteers were on site to begin the process of renovating the main building, which will have a 17,000 square foot sales floor when it opens to customers later this year. The barn on the property will initially be used for storage, but eventually will house auxiliary sales space for larger items such as patio furniture and could also become the backdrop for the organization’s events.

Ingram said the historic stone home next to the entrance along Main Street will fill a critical need as additional office space for Habitat, which is headquartered in Allentown.

“This (property) really gives us an opportunity to grow our organization throughout the Lehigh Valley,” she said, noting that Lehigh Valley families will benefit from being in close proximity to the new ReStore and Habitat offices.

Habitat already has a well-established relationship with Hellertown borough, where it has held its popular She Nailed It! women’s hammering competition and festival for the past three years.

Ingram said the 2024 event–which was held in Dimmick Park earlier this month–was a huge success and the organization’s biggest She Nailed It! yet, with approximately 70 teams competing.

She Nailed it!

Above, team members from Red Robin compete in the 2024 She Nailed It! nail-hammering contest in Hellertown’s Dimmick Park on May 6. The annual event is a fundraiser for Habitat for the Humanity of the Lehigh Valley and this year attracted approximately 70 teams plus hundreds of spectators. (Contributed photo)


There is also a Habitat-built home in Hellertown, Ingram said, and the borough has been supportive of the organization with its events and now with its plans to improve a landmark property.

“We are local,” she emphasized. “We support local families and our money stays in the Lehigh Valley to build a stronger community.”

Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley has built more than 138 homes for families in need of affordable housing, with life-changing results, Ingram noted.

Ingram said a family-owned home means a more stable, healthy environment for kids, and that after prospering academically, many children of local Habitat homeowners have gone on to college.

Ninety percent of Habitat homeowners are single mothers, and all must participate in the construction of their homes, thanks to a sweat equity requirement for which the organization is well-known.

In keeping with the organization’s philosophy of providing a hand up rather than a handout, homeowners are also responsible for regular mortgage payments that are calculated based on what they can afford to pay.

Currently, there are four new Habitat homes under construction in the Lehigh Valley, with three having recently been completed. Approximately 20 critical repair program jobs are also under way.

“Everybody needs shelter,” Ingram said. However, due to a lack of affordable housing in this area in particular, many people are struggling to simply maintain a roof over their heads.

“So, many families in the Lehigh Valley are being forced to choose between rent and putting food on the table,” she said.

The good news is that with a second ReStore location, Habitat Lehigh Valley will have additional revenue for its home-building and repair programs and will thus be able to help more families.

“The ReStore is going to make a massive impact on our community and make it possible to partner with even more hardworking, local families,” Ingram said of the new location.

As part of the renovations that are just beginning, the exterior of the main building that was previously the Neighbors store will be re-stained and its interior completely renovated starting in June.

New signage and landscaping will be installed on the outside of the property, which was subdivided. A smaller, northern portion of it has been listed for sale separately, Ingram said.

Even before the new Habitat ReStore opens its sales floor, it will begin accepting donations, which Ingram said will be announced on Habitat’s social media channels. The store will also be hiring, and there will be a number of volunteer opportunities for local residents who want to get involved.

“It really becomes this huge family of support,” she said of the Habitat volunteers and staff. “Everyone wants to see everyone succeed.”

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley and the ReStore, visit For updates, follow Habitat of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley ReStore on Facebook.

The historic stone farmhouse that is located next to the main entrance will house additional office space for Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley, which is headquartered in Allentown.

A Habitat for Humanity work truck sits in the parking lot at the future site of a second ReStore.

The barn located on the property will initially be used for storage, with plans in place to expand sales into it at some point in the future. Habitat Director of Operations Alli Ingram said events could also be hosted outside it.

A Habitat for Humanity team member works on the porch on the main building. Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley purchased part of the Neighbors property in late April after a two-year search for a location for a second ReStore.

The entrance to the main building will be restored and renovated to become an inviting entryway to the new ReStore. Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley Director of Operations Alli Ingram said every trip to the Lehigh Valley ReStore is like a treasure hunt, because shoppers never know what they might find.

Habitat Restore

The former Neighbors Home & Garden Center in Hellertown will soon be home to the second ReStore operated by Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley. The nonprofit organization closed on the Main Street property in late April and plans to open the store–which sells a vast array of new and gently-used home goods, furniture, building supplies and more–this fall.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

1 Comment

  • It’s sad that Neighbor’s had to close. But it’s great to see it is going to be used for a useful purpose, that will bring the community and many people together to help those in need.

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