Ace is slipping away

The clock is running out on Ace Hardware’s effort to find a place to build and stay in Sammamish.

The lease expires at the end of August 2013. So far, every effort to work with the City of Sammamish to find a new location and clear the path to build has failed. It’s not for not trying.

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Update on Ace Hardware

Regency continues to ignore Ace Hardware and efforts to extend its lease, according to reliable information.

Meantime, other tenants in the Sammamish Highlands (Safeway) complex fear that they are next on the Regency hit list. Tenants in the Pine Lake Center (QFC complex) ought to be worried, too.

Ace’s owner, Tim Koch, continues to seek a solution, including buying land and building, but with a lease termination in September 2012, doing a new-build means almost certainly Ace will close unless Regency extends the lease for at least a year.

City Staff is trying to find a solution for Ace as well.

Koch faces a greater challenge: if he wants to buy-and-build, the cost of doing so may be tough. However, I think that if other Regency tenants, with solid reason to fear for their future, combine with Koch, maybe there is a business case to present to Sammamish citizens to invest in a commercial structure that can lease space to the “Regency refugees.”

Residents in Pt Townsend did something similar when the city’s only general store closed. Residents invested in a new business (I do not know the business structure) to reopen a general store.

It is time for creative thinking and solutions.

Regency screws Ace Hardware

By now, many of you have heard that Regency, the owner of the Sammamish Highlands (Safeway complex), has screwed Ace Hardware, notifying owner Tim Koch that his lease won’t be renewed. He’s been in business here 20 years.

There is a Facebook page for Save our Ace.

Regency also owns much of the Issaquah Highlands and recently asked Issaquah for $3 million to fund changes there.

Regency is an arrogant organization, charging high pricing for the space at the Sammamish Highlands and the Pine Lake Center, which it also owns.

I don’t know that calling and emailing Regency will do much good–it has a monopoly on space here and unlike the consumer protest that rose up in arms against Bank of America over its debit card fees, Koch has little option going elsewhere. But here is the Regency contact:

Kalin Berger
503.603.4700
KalinBerger@RegencyCenters.com