Woodbury’s Ace Hardware Plans Major Expansion
The hardware store is taking over the Tropical Ballroom space; dance studio moving elsewhere in Valley Creek Mall.
By next spring, Frattallone’s Ace Hardware in Woodbury will more than double in size.
“We’re spending a fortune to bring it up to our new standards,” said owner Mike Frattallone. “We’ll be able to serve the community so much better.”
The hardware store, which Frattallone purchased in 1997, is planning to move into the space currently occupied by Tropical Ballroom. The expansion will allow for more product lines—Stihl tools for one—and a fresher look, he said.
Tropical Ballroom is planning to move down the hall at the Valley Creek Mall.
A hardware store has been at that location for decades, Frattallone said.
“It needed a facelift, plain and simple,” he said. “We’re taking it from the 1970s to 2013.”
The work is expected to begin in late December or early January, with the store being refurbished into mid-February. By March 1 next year, “It will look totally different,” Frattallone said.
The lease for Frattallone’s Ace Hardware has been extended to for 30 years, he said.
At the store on Tuesday morning, manager Al Kiel said the renovation is a long time coming. (It will not close for the work.)
“I’m excited. I think its great and it means we’re busy and doing well,” he said. “And it’s hard to shop here sometimes. Anybody under six-five has a problem.”
Kiel is also tasked with moving the snowblowers and grills from the inside of the store to the mall’s walkway each day. That will end once the work is complete.
The expansion will also give customers at Keys Café and Bakery a chance to window shop while they enjoy their meals, Kiel said.
“It’s going to be a lot of work for a little while, but I think the renovations are going to be good for us,” he said.
For Tropical Ballroom, the move is good for a couple of reasons, said Tricia Wood, who owns the dance studio with her husband James.
First, the Ace Hardware expansion will bring more foot traffic to the Valley Creek Mall. Second, it allows the couple to eliminate the facility rental part of the business, which was time consuming and not very profitable, Wood said.
“We’re just going to focus on what we love, which is dancing,” she said.
The couple looked at larger spaces available in the mall, but the layouts didn’t work for the large rectangular dance floor, Wood said.
Work on the new space, next door to Allstate Insurance, has already begun, Wood said, and they hope to be fully moved in sometime during January.
“We’re keeping everything the exact same for the dance studio,” she said.
In the meantime, they have rented a temporary location in the mall and will continue to teach everything except group classes during the move.
Wood said she’s looking forward to focusing on dance lessons rather than facility rental—the Tropical Ballroom space was too small for large gatherings such as weddings and too big for smaller functions.
“We’re super excited,” she said.
Wood said that people looking for a gift for hard-to-shop-for folks should try gift certificates for lessons at Tropical Ballroom.
Kiel, meanwhile, said that despite the snow, Frattallone’s Ace Hardware has already sold more than twice as many large snowblowers as last year.
“Nobody wants to go through what they did last year,” he said.