Windber council OKs variance for surplus store to operate in residential neighborhood

Sep. 21—WINDBER — A group vying to open a surplus store received approval from borough council to operate on a residential block of Graham Avenue.

The variance moves D3 Surplus Outlet a step closer to opening a 10,000-square-foot retail store and warehouse space at 2800-2806 Graham Avenue.

As planned, the store would be the second for a business that opened its first location in Portage two years ago.

The store features overstocks, store returns and surplus items, including home goods, electronics, furniture and toys, its website shows.

“These products come from both online and big-box retailers, such as Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart,” company partner Dan Kerch wrote to the borough in his request for a variance.

“We offer these products to our customers at around 40% below the retail cost.”

Despite its residential zoning designation, the Graham Avenue property was previously a commercial business — Windber Builders’ Surplus, Borough Manager Jim Furmanchik said.

That store closed several years ago.

“This is a building that was starting to approach dilapidated condition, and now we have a business owner that wants to come to town and invest in it, so I think council saw that as a good thing,” Furmanchik said.

There didn’t appear to be concern about the idea in the neighborhood, Furmanchik said. Two neighboring residents weighed in on the idea and supported it, he added.

Kerch told borough officials they are currently in the process of finalizing a deal to acquire the site.

Part of the space would be reserved for shipment receiving, but truck deliveries would be during business hours and they currently only occur every six weeks, he said.

He stressed the company will not be a secondhand or consignment store, noting that all products will come “directly from our vendors.”

The Portage store’s website shows D3 offers health and beauty supplies, bedding and books, as well as tools, pet supplies and collectibles.

Borough officials did not have a timetable for the store’s opening, noting its still in the preliminary phase.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.