Evergreen Ace

An electronic sign announces the arrival of Ace Hardware in the former Evergreen IGA location on 13th Street West on Wednesday, July 10.

Ace Hardware is expanding and plans to open a new location early in 2020 in the old Evergreen IGA store near Grand and 13th Avenue West.

It will officially be known as Evergreen Ace Hardware. 

"We're going to do that to honor the location," said Skip King, who owns the Ace Hardware stores in Billings and Lockwood, including this new one going into IGA. 

Evergreen Ace

The former Evergreen IGA building on 13th Street West is being remodeled into an Ace Hardware. Pictured Wednesday, October 2.

It'll be the biggest Ace Hardware in town at 34,000 square feet, something King is excited about. The space will allow him to open a greenhouse area at the store and feature an expanded lawn and garden center in the parking lot. Inside will be a Hallmark Crown store.

The extra space also will allow the hardware store to keep one of IGA's most popular features: donuts and a place to hang out. For years, IGA had been a gathering spot for seniors in the community to spend the morning chatting, drinking coffee and eating IGA's donuts. 

King has partnered with Heiko's, a bakery and donut shop on Central Avenue, to supply the hardware store with fresh pastries every morning. Honoring the name and maintaining the connection between the community and the location was important to King.

"We want to be part of the community," he said. 

Workers have spent the summer remodeling the store's interior, resurfacing the parking lot and installing new heating units for the building. King expects the building will be ready by mid-February with a grand opening celebration later in the spring. 

King had been looking for a way to add a midtown location to his Ace stores, so when the IGA building became available, he jumped on it.

"There's a huge gap in that area," he said. 

The new store will focus on convenience, featuring everything from pet supplies to greeting cards to all the traditional parts, pieces and equipment found at any Ace Hardware, including free popcorn, King said. 

Once he gets Evergreen Ace up and running, he'll start looking for more expansion opportunities. 

"I'm not done growing by any means," he said. 

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