|Work on new Ace Hardware on Highway 100 to start this week
|BELLEVUE - Construction of a new Ace Hardware on Highway 100 is expected to begin this week, nine months after owner Frank Shope announced he planned to open the store.
The 12,500-square-foot hardware store will be built across from Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre.
Shope, who owns three Ace Hardware stores in Belle Meade and Green Hills, purchased 1.5 acres in April to build the new store.
"We hope to have the store open in the fall, sometime around September or October," Shope said.
Shope had hoped to start earlier on the project, but he had to get the property rezoned, work with engineers and architects to design the building and apply for a small business loan.
"It took a while to get it all lined up," he said.
Shope decided to open in Bellevue after learning H.G. Hill Realty planned to level and redevelop the H.G. Hill shopping centers on Harding Road and Hillsboro Pike, which were home to Belle Meade Ace Hardware and Green Hills Ace Hardware.
"That is two-thirds of our business," Shope said. "We needed to look for somewhere where we could relocate and keep our staff employed and keep doing what we do well."
He also owns Hart Ace Hardware on Harding Road near the Highway 100 and Highway 70 split.
Shope, who has lived in Bellevue for 21 years, believes the new store is in a prime location. A Walgreen opened in the area last fall and more businesses are on the way.
"There's a lot of activity going on there. It's a good crossroads area for people in Williamson County and Bellevue," he said.
"I live near there, and I'm happy to see the type of shops going in. They are necessity shops, like a drugstore, supermarket, coffee shop, hair salon and a hardware store.
"Those all fit together to provide convenience for people in the area."
Shope declined to disclose the cost of the new store.
"We are going to enhance what we're already doing," he said.
The Bellevue store will feature an expanded paint department that carries Ace and Benjamin Moore paint, a large lawn and garden department and a service area for window and lamp repairs.
Shope plans to vacate the Green Hills store by May 31 and close the Belle Meade store by the end of the year. Hart Ace Hardware will remain open.
He would like to stay in Green Hills, but he's waiting to hear the details of H.G. Hill Realty's redevelopment plan.
More commercial development could be coming to Highway 100 because 11 acres between the Kroger shopping center and Ace property are for sale.
The property is zoned residential, but developers are attempting to get four acres zoned commercial limited and seven acres changed to office limited.
The proposal goes before the Metro Planning Commission Feb. 26, said Richard Jones of World Realty.
Jones has been in contact with several potential businesses, but there have been no commitments. He said the location would be ideal for a bank, restaurant or retail shops.