Tag Archives: Ace Hardware

New Owners Secure Bright Future For South Milwaukee Ace Hardware

New Ace owners

An iconic local retailer has new owners, and they have big plans.

South Milwaukee Ace Hardware has been sold to Harry and Chris Gil, owners of Harry’s Ace Hardware & Rental at 7240 S. 76th St. in Franklin. Their son, Ben, will manage their second location.

The Gils are showing their commitment to South Milwaukee by signing a long-term lease for their space at Sunrise Plaza, 1009 10th Ave., and they are planning a significant store remodel later this spring.

Please join me in being among the first to welcome the Gils, and to wish Dave Micale, the previous owner, well.

Dave built a first-class local business that went head-to-head with big box stores and more than held its own thanks to great customer service. Here is a message from Dave …

I would like to thank all of our customers for all the kindness and support that my family and I have received over the past 20 years. I can’t express enough how we enjoyed being a part of the neighborhood. We have met a lot of good people and made many great friends. I will forever be grateful.

The Ace announcement — especially the signing of the long-term lease and the planned improvements — is great news for Sunrise Plaza as a whole, which has new owners focused on improving the center and making it more financially viable.

And what’s good for Sunrise Plaza is good for South Milwaukee, and continued small business growth in our fair city. It’s exciting to see.

Welcome to South Milwaukee, the Gil family!


Filed under Local Business, South Milwaukee

Spreading The Joy Of Reading, One Little Free Library At A Time

20151013_171548 20151013_171442

The Little Free Libraries, 11 in all, are complete … and making their way into neighborhoods across the city.

We presented the libraries to several of the recipient families at a ceremony last week.

Thanks again to local woodworker Larry Oleson, the South Milwaukee Library, Ace Hardware and BMO Harris for their partnership on this fun community-building project. (And thanks to Caterpillar for getting the ball rolling by donating the first library, which we gave away last month.)

I’m so excited to have this come to life. I love seeing the community come together over stuff like this, and it never could have happened without the generosity of everyone listed above. Of course, the biggest thanks go to Larry, who gave of his time and talents (and garage space) to handcraft these works of art. And they are works of art.

Don’t recall the story behind these? Learn more here.

1 Comment

Filed under Library, South Milwaukee

Sunrise Plaza Update: New Owner For Shopping Center, As Ace Hardware Consolidates To Its South Milwaukee Location

Big news for Sunrise Plaza …

First, the center has been acquired by Secured Debt Investments of Coral Gables, Fla., at sheriff’s sale, paving the way for reinvestment in the property and potentially new tenants.

According to its website …

SDI is an investment management firm focusing on underperforming commercial real estate assets throughout the United States. …

We concentrate our acquisitions in distressed, under-performing commercial real estate loans and properties. Our infrastructure provides us with proprietary market knowledge, deal flow and relationships needed to execute our strategy. We implement a disciplined pricing methodology, containing clear exit strategies through a value-add based proposition.

Our highly skilled team of underwriters and acquisition specialists work hand in hand with our local service providers to evaluate and analyze each acquisition, giving us the local presence and knowledge needed to capitalize on opportunities throughout the country.

In other words, it sounds like a key goal of the new ownership is to fix up the center, lease it, and sell it.

Seigel-Gallagher is managing the property, and they tell me their plan is to improve some of the long-neglected vacant spaces at the center, with a focus on the 8,600 square-foot (divisible) retail space at the south end and 3,750 square-foot medical office space. Improvements to the exterior of the property are also planned, including repainting, landscaping, new lighting and updating the main building sign. They’ll also seek to secure long-term relationships with key tenants like Ace Hardware and the Sunrise Restaurant.

As this happens, Ace, the center’s biggest tenant, is making big changes of its own to secure its long-term future in South Milwaukee. You may have read about it in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Dave Micale, the store’s owner, announced last week he was closing his Oak Creek location after 10 years and consolidating operations here. They will be adding inventory from the Oak Creek store to South Milwaukee over the next month, with its remaining staff also making the move.

Dave tells me the Oak Creek closure was a business decision based on a variety of factors, and that he is committed to continuing to serve South Milwaukee for the long term.

I’m so glad to hear that. Ace is a valued retailer in our fair city. They do business the right way, living up to their motto as “the helpful hardware place.” I love shopping local there and want them around for many years to come.

We need stores like this in South Milwaukee.

All in all, I view the Sunrise Plaza developments as a positive for South Milwaukee. After years of little investment in the center, a new owner is committed to making necessary improvements and increasing its value. And Ace is committing to maintaining its long and strong commitment to South Milwaukee, despite the closure of its Oak Creek store.

Of course, we’ll have to see where the future takes this. But I’m hopeful. It’s progress for Sunrise Plaza. Finally.


Filed under Local Business, South Milwaukee

Going Big With Little Free Libraries

Little Free Library

Update: A point clarification, only those who requested libraries initially will get one for free. We are accepting no more requests for the complimentary libraries. 

So, you might remember in June that we put a call out to local residents interested in giving Caterpillar’s former Little Free Library a good home. We had a great response. Eleven people said they wanted one of these in front of their homes!

So we began wondering, “How can we say ‘yes’ to everyone who asked?’”

Well, we’re proud to announce that everyone who initially asked for one, will get one. That is due to a generous donation of time and expertise from local woodworker Larry Oleson.

I just met Larry a few weeks ago, and if you’ve driven down 15th Avenue near City Hall over the years, you may know some of his work. His carved wood (and some metal) pieces adorn the front of his house 2413 15th Ave., and he has even more terrific works in his garage, from tables and chairs to wooden animals.

He’s also no stranger to Little Free Libraries. He’s constructed more than a dozen over the years.

So when I asked him about taking this on, Larry was more than happy to help.

So was Ace Hardware, which is donating paint and stain for the project, and the South Milwaukee Library, which is donating some of the wood (from old library shelves) that Larry will use and provide some books for the libraries, as needed.

The plan: Larry now has the list of people who expressed interest in the libraries and will begin construction soon. The goal is to have everyone their free library by the time the snow flies, starting with the one from Cat.

I am really excited about this community partnership, and I want to thank Caterpillar, Ace, the library and especially Larry for his contributions.

This is why I love South Milwaukee!

Be sure to check out Larry’s work for yourself at his home. Give him a call first at 414-764-6786. Tell him I said hi, and please thank him personally for stepping up to help with this project.


Filed under Caterpillar, Library, Local Business, South Milwaukee

12 Days Of South Milwaukee Christmas: Local Chains (Especially Ace Hardware)

I try and shop local whenever I can for Christmas … and sometimes that means a local chain.

My favorite? Ace Hardware. It truly is the “helpful hardware place,” with customer service that you simply can’t get at the big-box home improvement stores, Walmart, etc. And it’s convenient.

I’ve never believed that shopping has to be an “either-or” argument when it comes to chain and local retailers. It’s “both-and.”

Our local Ace is the best of both worlds.

  • Address: 1009 Marquette Ave. (Sunrise Plaza)
  • Website: http://www.acehardware.com/home/index.jsp
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/acehardware?ref=br_tf

1 Comment

Filed under 12 Days of South Milwaukee Christmas, Local Business, South Milwaukee

12 Days Of South Milwaukee Christmas: Local Chains (Especially Ace Hardware)

Shopping local is about more than shopping at independent retailers. Chains can be part of your holiday plans, too.

In South Milwaukee, my favorite is Ace Hardware. “The helpful place” is always just that — helpful, and I find their prices reasonable.

Could I save a few bucks by going to one of the big guys on 27th Street? Occasionally. Can I get a better selection? Perhaps on some items. But when you factor in convenience and the friendliness and expertise of the people working the floor — someone is always there to help you through a project, often an owner — Ace is more often than not a huge bargain.

The Brooks family also shops from time to time at Pick ‘n Save, Aldi, Walgreens, Dollar General and others, not to mention any number of chains in Oak Creek, and they are all fine stores. But Ace is my favorite.

Ace Hardware

  • Location: 1009 Marquette Ave.
  • Phone: 762-8250
  • On the web: click here.


Filed under 12 Days of South Milwaukee Christmas, Local Business