Company, town officials plan to break ground on new hardware store
By Jason Rowe
VERNON - Construction work at the planned Rocky's Ace Hardware on Windsor Avenue is scheduled to begin next week.
On Tuesday, Rocky's Ace Hardware President and Chief Executive Officer Rocco J. Falcone will join Mayor Ellen L. Marmer and other local officials in breaking ground at the new store.
The 10 a.m. ceremonial groundbreaking will mark the official start of construction on the site at 73 Windsor Ave., which formerly served as the home of a Kelly-Fradet lumber store.
When it opens in the spring, Rocky's Ace Hardware will feature a newly renovated interior, and a roughly 1,000 square-foot addition.
"We are excited that the construction of Rocky's Ace Hardware is now underway," Falcone said in a press release. "We are building this store with one key element in mind - our customers - and look forward to providing everyday home improvement solutions and a helpful shopping experience to residents of Vernon."
The new store is expected to stock more than 25,000 products, including paints, lawn and garden equipment, seasonal items, plumbing, and electrical tools.
Based in Springfield, Rocky's Ace Hardware operates more than 27 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Florida.
The business was founded in 1926 as a single-store location in Springfield, according to the company's Web site.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the store began adapting to affiliate with national hardware retailer Ace Hardware.
The Vernon store will be the chain's first foray into Connecticut.
The Vernon building's alterations - which were approved earlier this month by the Planning and Zoning Commission - primarily involve non-public areas, such as a new stock receiving areas, manager's offices, and break room, as well as changes to the building's storefront and signs.
The former Kelly-Fradet store's existing fenced lumber and building materials display and storage area will likely be reduced to accommodate a new outdoor garden display area and a new 1,000-gallon propane storage tank and dispensing area, according to plans.
©Journal Inquirer 2006