A Colorado Springs family that operates four local Ace Hardware stores is adding a fifth along busy Powers Boulevard.
The new store will go into an existing building at the Ridgeview Marketplace shopping center, northeast of Powers and Stetson Hills boulevards, said Darek Barnes, owner and president of Barnes Ace Inc. The 13,000-square-foot store could open in late April to late May, he said.
Barnes said his family has looked for a location along Powers for about a decade. As the city's population has grown to the northeast and east over the past 25 years, Powers - from Platte Avenue to Woodmen Road - has become arguably the city's most popular retail corridor.
Ace was a perfect fit at Ridgeview Marketplace, Barnes said.
His family's Ace stores draw customers from about a 2-mile radius, Barnes said. Ridgeview Marketplace is surrounded by thousands of rooftops in Stetson Hills, Nor'wood and other subdivisions.
And as a neighborhood hardware store, the family's Ace locations have done well in grocery-anchored shopping centers, Barnes said. Ridgeview Marketplace is anchored by King Soopers. The Barnes' other stores are at Pioneer Plaza, Circle and Galley roads; the Marketplace at Austin Bluffs, Austin Bluffs Parkway and Academy Boulevard; West Wind Marketplace, Garden of the Gods Road and Centennial Boulevard; and the Bon Center at Wahsatch Avenue and Jackson Street. A grocery anchors each of those centers.
"We really like the demographics in the neighborhood," Barnes said of Ridgeview Marketplace. "We love the fact we're adjacent to a major grocery anchor that serves the same community."
Home Depot has a store to the north at Powers and Woodmen, while Lowe's has one at Powers and Constitution Avenue to the south. Ace, however, has a different audience - customers who like a smaller store, develop relationships with its employees and recognize that patronizing local businesses benefits the community, Barnes said.
The Ace stores are much smaller than Home Depot and Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse stores, which are typically are more than 100,000 square feet.
"At some point, people value locally owned," he said. "They value small and convenient. They value products that are sourced at a higher-quality level. So, it's just a different niche."
The Powers and Stetson store will employ 15 full-time people and 10 part-timers, Barnes said. It will be similar to his family's most recent Ace Hardware, which opened in 2009 at Austin Bluffs and Academy.
Barnes' parents, David and Nancy, are involved in the real estate side of the family business, while his brother, Scott, is a property manager and operations manager for their stores.
Two other Ace stores in the Springs - on the southeast and west sides - are operated by another family.
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