Ace Hardware eyes October opening

  • Ace Hardware hopes to reopen at their new location on Kilauea Avenue in October. (Tribune-Herald/file photo)

HILO — Ace Hardware is scheduled to return to Hilo in October after a nearly six-month-long closure.

Cory Chagami, vice president of operations for HouseMart, which owns Ace Hardware Hawaii, said there is no specific date for the store’s reopening yet, but construction and renovation at the new location continues on schedule.

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“It’s taking longer than we would have liked, obviously,” Chagami said. “Our crews are working hard on moving and fixing up the building.”

The old Ace Hardware location — 660 Kilauea Ave. — closed permanently in late April, after a sagging roof beam had closed nearly half of the building for nearly a year. Since then, HouseMart has worked to refurbish a building just down the street at 550 Kilauea Ave. for the store’s new location.

The store manager of the previous location had tentatively predicted an August reopening date back in May, although he admitted that may have been overly optimistic.

Chagami said crews are working to move Ace’s inventory to the new location, as well as miscellaneous construction work, such as installing new air conditioning and fire suppression systems.

The building’s owners — Maui Varieties Investments Inc. — only received permits to renovate and alter the building’s electrical and plumbing systems in late July, at a total estimated cost of nearly $750,000, according to public records.

Ace’s 16 employees were offered positions at other HouseMart-owned businesses in the interim, and will be able to return to Ace when the store reopens, Chagami said.

Chagami declined to comment on the fate of the previous building, which is more than 60 years old. Currently, the building remains closed and unoccupied.

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“We’re looking forward to coming back to serving the Hilo community,” Chagami said.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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