Ace Hardware closing

Property managers for the Longview Triangle Center expect a vacancy in the strip mall to be filled quickly after Ace Hardware closes in mid- to late-June.

Jody Allen, senior property manager with Cushman and Wakefield, said her group is interviewing at least four prospective tenants to fill the spot.

“We think (the store) will only be vacant for a few months … but we are just not close enough to a lease to announce who that new tenant might be,” Allen said Wednesday.

Cushman and Wakefield works with Triangle Town Center NW LLC, the San Diego-based company that owns the Triangle Center, to oversee the lease on the Ace Hardware building, as well as other shops in the center.

“We are really viewing (Ace) vacating as an opportunity for us to mix it up there and to bring in some more new opportunities (to the shopping center),” Allen said. “We have a pretty active center. It’s busy all the time, so bringing a couple of other opportunities … or another type of business will help boost not only the center, but also Longview.”

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Ace is leaving because its lease is expiring and “their ownership is in Hawaii, and they’ve decided that this location doesn’t get enough business with the location of another nearby Ace Hardware,” Allen said.

The Longview store is part of a regional “HouseMart” chain that owns more than 30 retail franchises in Ace Hardware and Ben Franklin Crafts, including Ace outlets in Portland and Olympia. Ace stores in Woodland, Clatskanie and other Lower Columbia locations are owned by other groups.

The closure comes despite a period of growth for the franchise’s parent corporation. Ace Hardware Corp. reported in February that it had a record-breaking last quarter in 2018 with almost $1.4 billion in revenue, resulting in fourth-quarter earnings of $25.2 million. The company also added 253 stores last year and now owns 5,253 worldwide.

Bret Grandstrom, the Longview store’s lead operations manager, said the shop is in a clearance period that will likely last through mid-June. Almost half of the shelves are already empty, Allen said.

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