OSH store image via Google Earth
Written by David Castellon
Another former Orchard Supply Hardware store has a new tenant, and again its Ace Hardware.
Westlake Ace Hardware, which owns and operates 124 Ace stores in 10 states, has agreed to lease a former OSH store at 1536 N. Champlain Dr. in northeast Fresno, as well as one in the city of Woodland, near Sacramento.
It’s one of four OSH stores in Fresno that closed last year — along with stores in Clovis, Hanford and Visalia — when all 98 OSH stores in California, Florida and 0regon went out of business.
Up until now, only the Visalia store had reopened, also as Ace Hardware, but under different ownership. The other former OSH stores remain empty, in some cases because leases are still in effect, preventing anyone else from renting those buildings.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the lease had run out on the Champlain building —as it had at the Visalia site — or if Lowe’s Home Improvement, which owned the OSH chain and held the leases, had surrendered its rights to the property ahead of the lease expiring.
Illinois-based Ace Hardware Corp. has about 5,000 stores around the world, most independently owned.
“We are currently remodeling and hiring for that location,” said Thomas M. Mentzer, a spokesman for Kansas City-based Westlake.
He said the two stores in Fresno and Woodland will be the first Ace stores in California under Westlake.