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Pollock’s Hardware manager Mike Wolchock in front of the store’s latest endeavor — a building supply store in Point Douglas. (PHOTO BY ROB BROWN)

Pollock’s Hardware in the North End has begun work on a major expansion.

The popular, do-it-yourself hardware co-operative purchased a three storey-warehouse at 755 Main St. earlier this year.

 It is currently in the midst of undertaking more than $200,000 of improvements to the building. Bridgeman Collaborative is the architect on the project.

The new location will sell basic building materials such as lumber and drywall.

Co-op officials hope it will attract both new and existing Pollock’s customers. It will operate in addition to the Pollock’s current location at 1407 Main St.

"Our goal is to be open for May 1," said manager Mike Wolchock.

The building will be a hub for other non-profit agencies in what Wolchock calls a "social enterprise centre."

Some of the agencies that are expected to locate in the new building will include the Manitoba Co-op Association, Build Manitoba, LITE, and the Point Douglas Resident’s Association.

Co-op treasurer Tom Simms said strong community support is one of the main reasons Pollock’s was able to undertake the project.

"In these times, with the economy the way it is, it is great to see this kind of partnership and community-building," he said.

The first floor of the new building will house Pollock’s while other groups and non-profits will occupy space on the second floor.

Wolchock said standard home building supplies not available at Pollock’s current operation — such as drywall, lumber and insulation —will be available at the new location.

He said supplying more home improvement materials was a logical next step for the co-op.

"Right now when customers ask for these sorts of things, we tell them we can’t help them," he said.

Wolchock said the co-op hopes to raise an additional $47,000 over the next few months to help bolster the new endeavour.

"We hope to do this without taking out (borrowing)," he said.

Since its opening as a co-operative venture in June 2008, Pollock’s has been consistently ahead of business projections, according to Simms.

Original business plans called for 200 members by the end of the first year of operations. Pollock’s celebrated its 1,000th member less than six months after opening and Wolchock said it is closing in on a few other milestones.

"We are close to our 2,000th member. We’re at like 1,980," he said.

"We’ve had three years of profit...(and) next year we fully expect to reach $1 million in sales."

Pollock’s memberships area available at the store at 1407 Main St.  A membership is not required to make a purchase at the store.  
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