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Ace Hardware planned for U.S.-23 North

New Photo by Steve Schulwitz Steel is seen today at the site where construction has begun on an Ace Hardware store on U.S-23 North in Alpena, next to Dean Arbour Ford. The new business is expected to open early this summer.

ALPENA — The northern corridor in Alpena will soon add a familiar franchise to its business portfolio.

Ace Hardware is being built adjacent to Dean Arbour Ford on U.S.-23 North.

Bill Kelly, a spokesman for the project, said a new, 12,000-square-foot retail store will open with an additional 2,400-square-foot warehouse behind it.

Kelly said the Alpena store is an expansion of the Ace in Rogers City, which has been a staple in the community for 18 years. If things go smoothly, the new business should be open early in the summer.

“The Ace brand has been around for a long time and brings high-quality products, customer service,” Kelly said. “We are excited to be able to provide this in Alpena.”

The property has changed hands several times in the last several years. It was owned by the Marriot company, which intended to build a Fairfield Inn and Suites, but development on that project stalled. Kelly said the property was purchased from the hotel giant about two years ago.

According to Kelly, the location is well-suited for a hardware store because there is a high traffic count and no other hardware stores in that general vicinity, which will make it appealing to residents and contractors who live and work north of Alpena in areas such as Long Lake, Grand Lake, and outlying townships.

“It will be convenient, and customers will be able to quickly pop in and out and be able to get the high-quality products they want and the customer service they expect,” he said.

The hope is that, once the store is built, it will lead to further development in that part of town, he said.

Because the store and warehouse will only utilize half of the property, Kelly said, the balance could be sold or leased to accommodate other business ventures.

“There is opportunity here,” he said. “There are things we don’t have north of town that I think would be welcome there. One of our goals is to work toward future development.”

Kelly said there has been some interest in the land, but didn’t specify who has shown it.

Construction at the site has begun. Kelly said the COVID-19 pandemic did cause a short delay, but nothing significant. He said the project has a lot of momentum now and moving ahead swiftly.

The pandemic “did cause some hiccups with product availability and other small things,” Kelly said. “But things are going along very well, now.”

It is not the first time Ace Hardware has had a presence in Alpena. There was one on Bagley Street for a period, and it moved out to U.S.-23 South before closing about a decade ago.

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