Federal Hill Ace Hardware at 1214 Light St. is expanding into the adjacent space at 1225 Light St. This space was formerly home of Warrior Emporium which recently closed and relocated to Lansdowne. Ace, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Federal Hill, is co-owned by John Elliot who said the expansion is an effort to better serve the community.
The expansion will add about 3,500 to 4,000 sq. ft. to Ace making the store about 12,000 sq. ft. total. With this additional space, Elliot said Ace will be expanding its most popular sections including paint, where Ace will add a consultation area, and lawn and garden. It will also be adding more lumber, drywall, and sheets of plywood, plus a crafts section. Elliot said the new space will allow for them to have better displays and that he encourages customers to visit and let the Ace team know what products the store needs to carry.
Elliott believes the expanded selections and inventory will also be a benefit to some of the business clients in South Baltimore. “There’s a lot of development in South Baltimore and we want to be a better resource,” Elliot told SouthBMore.com.
Ace will also now offer additional parking, as it will no longer need to share its parking lot with Warrior.
Preliminary work has begun on the expansion which is expected to take a couple months. The grand opening is anticipated to happen in March or April. Elliot said they are cleaning up the floors and ceilings, and will be adding a pass-through to get from its current space to the new section. With more store frontage along Light St., Ace is working on a large new sign that takes advantage of this space. Elliot said it would be “more modern and clean” than the current awning they have now.
Ace currently employs 12 individuals and expects to make a few more hires. The store is managed by South Baltimore native David Evans and is co-owned by Gina Shaefer.
Ace is the current two-time winner of SouthBMore’s Best Store. Elliot says they try to achieve a great customer experience by greeting customers and providing the help they need. Federal Hill Ace Hardware is a co-op of Ace Hardware and the location has received the Pinnacle Award for being one of Ace’s top stores, according to Elliot.
Elliot is excited about the ten year anniversary, expansion, and how far the business has come. “We opened the store in 2007 during a bad economy and many people said we were crazy, but people in Baltimore are very loyal and it’s been a great experience.”