LACONIA — Charitable instincts have been overtaken by atrocious behavior at the building that housed Goodwill Industries at 22 Pleasant St.
Since the organization vacated the building on March 12 and moved its operations to Daniel Webster Highway in Belmont, the loading dock at the rear of building facing Beacon Street West has become a dumping ground. Despite numerous signs indicating that the store and donation center had closed and directing donors and customers to the new location, people have continued to leave items on the pavement. On Friday, four television sets, an air conditioning unit and assorted clothing were strewn around the site.
Goodwill has placed two donation bins alongside the loading dock as well as dispatched a truck to collect discarded items from to time. An employee of Goodwill, who asked not to be identified, said that the organization intends to continue taking steps to clear the site until the building is sold.
Meanwhile, Mark Warren, pastor of Grace Capital Church, said Friday that the church has entered an agreement to purchase the property. He emphasized that the church is in the process of pursuing due diligence and addressing various contingencies, which must be satisfactorily resolved before a transaction can be closed.
Grace Capital Church was founded in 1996 by Peter Bonanno and, after meeting in private homes and school rooms, moved to a building in Pembroke in 2005 and soon affiliated with the Foursquare church headquartered in Los Angeles. The congregation grew rapidly, with about 1,000 worshippers attending two services on Sundays, many of them from the Lakes Region. In October 2010, the church opened in the Lakes Region, holding its services at the Laconia Middle School and maintaining an office on Canal Street, and in 2012 moved to the 22,000-square-foot building attached to the downtown parking garage.
The building at 22 Pleasant St. was constructed in 1923 and once housed an A&P grocery store. It sits on a on a 0.46-acre lot, has 11,652 square feet of largely undivided space on one floor. The property is listed by the CBRE Group for $350,000.
An employee of Goodwill Industries collected furniture, appliances and clothing strewn at the rear of the the building at 22 Pleasant Street, which the charity vacated in March when it moved to its new store and donation center at 95 Daniel Webster Highway (US Route 3) in Belmont. (Laconia Daily Sun photos/Michael Kitch).