Mill Plain Ace Hardware closing

Store loses its lease as part of upgrade of shopping center

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor



The Ace Hardware store at 8000 E. Mill Plain Boulevard is closing its doors after losing its lease as part of what the property owner says will be a larger upgrade of the Garrison Square shopping center at East Mill Plain and North Garrison Road.

The hardware store launched a liquidation sale on Thursday that will continue “until everything’s gone,” said Bruce Ault, the store owner for the past decade. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Sundays.

Vancouver-based development and investment firm Killian Pacific, which purchased the 1970s-era shopping center in 2011 for $3.5 million, confirmed that the company did not renew Ace’s lease. Company president Lance Killian said by email that the lease had been made by the previous property owner in 2011 and did not include lease extension options. He would not comment on Ault’s statement that he believed the space was being leased to a rival hardware retailer.

Killian said his company has invested significant time, money and effort in upgrading Garrison Square but had felt that its efforts so far had not been successful.

“We will be announcing in 2-3 months some new businesses that will be locating at this property, which will begin to create a vibrancy and vitality that has not existed at Garrison Square for many, many years,” Killian said by email. “As part of this effort, we will be completing a major rebranding of the property, which will include a transformation of the design that is authentic to place and enhances the customer experience.”

Garrison Square’s tenants include Planet Fitness, Manning Academy Beauty School and Spa and Mexico Lindo Restaurant.

Ault said the Ace Hardware store struggled during the recession, but business improved last year and was up by 20 percent in the current year, he said.

Although he’d like to relocate the store, Ault said the Ace corporate office did not think there was enough time to find a new location.

For now, “Ace said the best thing to do is liquidate,” he said.