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Old office fixtures help a worthy cause

Woodbridge Village Center saves, packs and delivers $10,000 of office fixtures to Habitat for Humanity

IRVINE, Calif. (March 20, 2016) — She could’ve thrown it all out. That would’ve made life easy.

Irvine Company’s Susan Lieb only had a few days to clear out a medical office building awaiting new tenants at Woodbridge Village Center, which is undergoing a $30-million reinvestment.

Deadline loomed—and the five empty offices still held more than 100 cabinets, dozens of sinks, mirrors, light fixtures and accessories on the walls.

Time was ticking.

Lieb was thinking.

“We’re all about recycling,” says the senior director of property management for retail properties. “And I don’t like to see things go to waste.”

So she got on the phone with someone who could re-use it—and help others at the same time.

She called Noe Rivas at Habitat for Humanity, and offered to donate it to the nonprofit’s “ReStore,” which sells used furnishings to help it build homes for the poor.

Rivas came right over from the Anaheim store with a roll of blue tape to label the things he could salvage. After he finished, blue tape covered almost everything – even bathroom rails installed for handicap access.

“I was definitely enthusiastic,” says Rivas, director of material acquisition for Habitat’s Orange County affiliate. “It put a smile on my face.”

There was only one problem: Everything needed to be out in a few days. And Rivas had no one available to pack or move it.

So Lieb made a few more calls. She found a construction crew to pull everything off the walls. And a mover to deliver it. For free.

Lieb’s retail property team – Assistant Property Manager Cara Han, Property Assistant Karen Scott, Property Coordinator Mica Fisher and Operations Manager Steve Jones – helped load the final boxes.

Rivas estimates the value at more than $10,000. That will help fund Habitat, which has built more than 250 homes in Orange County since 1988.

“For Irvine Company to donate all that and also provide labor and delivery, that is unbelievable,” Rivas says. “We feel totally blessed that they support us.”

Ortega Moving picked up the last of the furnishings on Saturday, just in time for tenant improvements to begin for the first phase of Woodbridge Village Center’s major reinvestment. And nothing has gone to waste.

That put a smile on Lieb’s face.

“We are excited to know these items will be re-used,” she says, “and they will help Habitat for Humanity continue its good work.”