Lady Lake Commission blesses Ye Old Thrift Shoppe’s expansion plan

Lady Lake commissioners gave their approval Monday night to a revised plan for the expansion of the Ye Old Thrift Shoppe in Lady Lake – one that would spare the lives of historic live oak trees once lauded for their longevity.

A rendering of the proposed plan for Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe.

In September, The Villages Regional Hospital Auxiliary Foundation struck out with the commission on the planned expansion at its location on Lady Lake Boulevard. The denial came largely after Commissioner Paul Hannan made it quite clear that he was vehemently opposed to the removal of the 200-year-old trees.

“I will do whatever it takes to stop you from removing those trees, even if I have to tie myself to one of them,” Hannan told the auxiliary representatives.

The same trees had been celebrated in 2018 by the auxiliary. Lady Lake Mayor Jim Richards was part of the celebration, reading a proclamation to honor the trees.

An overview of the plan to accommodate historic trees in the expansion of the Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe.

A significant source of fundraising for the hospital’s auxiliary foundation has been rooted in Ye Old Thrift Shoppe, which began operation in 2008 at 106 W. Lady Lake Blvd. The original home for the thrift shop was a two-story building that had served as the first general store in Lady Lake for nearly 100 years. Ye Old Thrift Shoppe’s main operations consist of selling donated household items, including home decor, books, clothing, shoes, linens, jewelry, furniture and collectibles.

The thrift shop has been good for the hospital, but it has also been a solid producer for the Town of Lady Lake, ringing up an average of $3,000 per month in sales tax.