Consumer Confidence Kindles a Spark in the Economy

By Ted Reiff

Once again, sprouting crocuses, greening trees and outerwear blowout sales are signaling the return of Spring. After a cold and, depending on where you live, punishing winter, nothing could be more welcome. Unless, of course, you count several surprising signs of Spring growth in the economy.

A couple of weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee reported that Home Depot stores in the Sacramento area will be hiring 1,000 seasonal employees, with some 70,000 new hires predicted nationwide. A spokesperson for the retail chain said that about half of new hires typically become full-time employees. I realize that Sacramento is not a weathervane for economic forecasting, but considering the unemployment rate in San Joaquin County reached 18 percent during the downturn, this is outstanding news.

On February 23, the Wall Street Journal reported growth in the logging industry. A Eugene, Oregon mill recently hired 200 people with 50 more soon to be added. The same mill previously laid off 700 employees, so that’s at least a start. County officials in Eugene noted that each new job in the lumber business adds about five additional jobs to the overall economy.

In Saratoga, Wyoming, a mill that closed during the recession just reopened with 80 new hires. And last month, Southern Parallel Forest Products Company in Albertville, Alabama, reopened one of its closed mills and hired 130 workers. Nationally, the logging business has added 3,400 jobs.

I know from experience that the housing market in Oakland and surrounding communities has been heating up for over two years. It’s not unusual for a resale to quickly attract multiple offers, many of them over the asking price and for cash. While this trend is not true for all communities across the U.S., it unquestionably signals a surge in the housing market. QuickData reported that existing home sales rose 32 percent in December over the same period in 2012, the largest increase since 1988.

You may have noticed that all of these examples – home improvement, lumber processing, and real estate sales -- have some bearing on what TRP might expect in the way of increased activity during the coming months. If the past two months are any indication, the trend may already have begun. A few examples:

  • TRP’s deconstruction manager has bid 20 projects.
  • TRP-certified deconstruction contractors in Chicago now have over $600,000 in outstanding bids.
  • TRP regional managers in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego have completed a total of 15 deconstruction projects.
  • Brand new regional managers in Boise and Salt Lake City have each bid two projects – and after only a few weeks on the job.

The bottom line is that consumer confidence has once again trumped political machinations, bureaucratic bumbling and sequestration. It always does!

Spring is coming. I can already hear our the Nail Kicker® denailers pinging away.

Special Events Reminders

April: Watch for our announcement of the 2013 National Reuse Contest.
April 29–May 1: Decon 2013, Seattle WA. TRP will have a booth at this annual event, sponsored by the Building Materials ReUse Association. For more information and to register, visit
May 11-12: AltBuild Expo, Santa Monica.
November 23: Congratulations to TRP on the 20th anniversary of its founding!

Specials of the Month

At the Oakland warehouse we are featuring plumbing fixtures. Receive 25% off the price of any plumbing fixture in the warehouse through March 31.
The ReUse People Specials
The Los Angeles warehouse is featuring plantation shutters, priced at $5.00 each through March 31.
The ReUse People Specials

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has received large shipments of outstanding materials from 3,000, 6,000 and 7,000 square-foot homes in Atherton, Lafayette and San Ramon.


The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials


The Los Angeles warehouse recently received a matching toilet and pedestal sink in gleaming black, several nice mahogany cabinets, and a handsome hanging chandelier.

The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials

Deconstruction & New Materials Update

Visit the TRP website for a complete list of current deconstruction projects and inventories. Just click on “Retail Sales” and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

Please visit our partnering warehouses:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Orange County (two convenient locations)
12827 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 590-8729
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00- 8:00; Saturday 9:00-6:00; Sunday 11:00-5:00
2200 S. Ritchey Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 434-6266
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-5:00; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Kansas City
4701 Deramus, Kansas City MO 64120
(816) 231-6889
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-6:00; Sat 9:00-4:00; closed Sunday

The ReBuilding Exchange, Chicago
1740 West Webster, Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 847-3761
Hours: Tues-Wed 10:00-6:00; Thurs 12:00-8:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-6:00

Reuseable Green Works
840 Boston Post Road
West Haven, CT 06516
(203) 745-3695
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00-5:00; Sat 8:00-noon

The Re-Use Store
6350 27th Street (at 47th Ave.), Sacramento CA 95822
(916) 399-8900
Hours: Wed-Sat, 8:30-4:00

The ReUse Warehouse
800 Taylor Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00

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