When Ace Hardware moved into the newly renovated Old Milltown building in downtown Edmonds in spring 2009, store officials said they were assured that the second-floor location could easily support the weight of a hardware store. However, when cracks in the store’s floor and sub floor starting appearing in late summer/early fall of 2010, it was clear there was a problem, and it has continued to worsen over time, said Edmonds store manager Jared Burris. (See the letter from the Edmonds Ace store here.)
The Old Milltown Building at 201 5th Ave. S., originally owned by developer Bob Gregg, had been taken back by Cascade Bank, which Burris said has been working — to no avail — with Ace to find a solution. The problem was traced to portions of the store — in particular, the paint section — which exceeded the permitted loads for the floor. After months of time and money spent exploring options for repairs, which would require disrupting other tenants in the building, the bank and Ace determined there was no affordable way to keep the store in the space, Burris said.
As a result, Ace is liquidating its inventory starting Thursday, April 14, and closing its doors effective June 1. Everything will be sold, “down to the shelves,” Burris said.
Burris said that the store is safe to occupy now that paint products and other heavy items have been moved from the building, and that the location is perfectly suited as a retail/office space — just not as a hardware store. He also stressed that the store’s decision was not related to sales, which were good. “Edmonds supported us very well,” he added.
My Edmonds News was told that the city has been making efforts to keep Ace Hardware in town by proposing other suitable vacant spaces.
Burris said that six employees will lose their jobs as a result of the closure. He has hired extra workers to assist with the liquidation, and they have spent the past few days placing 50-percent off tags on merchandise in preparation for Thursday’s reopening.
Store hours through June 1 will be 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.