James Rada, Jr.

After two years of meetings for planning and approvals, the new, larger Goodwill retail store in Thurmont is under construction. While not complete, the end is in sight.

The new 17,850-square-foot store on Thurmont Boulevard, behind the Taco Bell/KFC, is expected to be finished by the end of November, with a grand opening sometime after that. The location is part of 2.95 acres in the Thurmont Business Park, according to planning documents.

The new, larger store will replace the current store on East Main Street and is conveniently located near shopping, banks, and restaurants.

The concept plan was first presented to the Thurmont Planning Commission in January 2022. The preliminary plans were presented in May and June of that year.

All new Goodwill stores, including store relocations like in Thurmont, will have drive-thru donation centers, according to a statement from Kristen Jones, senior manager of marketing and communications for Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley.

“We know that larger stores with more square footage will provide our shoppers with more product offerings at an affordable price,” the statement said. “[W]e’re committed to making a positive economic impact in Frederick and Carroll County, which includes increased employment opportunities for community members. Last year, we provided more than 300 jobs in the communities our stores serve.”

Mayor John Kinnaird said the Planning and Zoning Commission has handled reviewing and approving development plans, and the Board of Commissioners hasn’t provided much input on this project.

Kinnaird said the current Goodwill location has a “horrendous” parking situation, and there isn’t much room for the business to grow.

“Some nights, it’s surprising how many people are shopping at Goodwill, so I’m sure that their own customers’ needs have probably driven them to look for another location,” he said. “Any business that expands is great. It shows there’s a need for it, and they have the customer base to justify the expansion.”

Thurmont Town Planner Kelly Duty echoed Kinnaird and said the current Goodwill location has consistent problems with parking. When she passes by the store, it’s busy, she said.

“I think this definitely will be a benefit to the community at large. This will take a business where parking is an issue, it’ll move it to the general business district,” Duty said. “It’ll be easier to access by all.”

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