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Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

ACO Home, Garden & Hardware announces plans to close Ypsilanti Township location

By Katrease Stafford

ACO Home, Garden & Hardware will be closing 14 under-performing stores around the state, including its Ypsilanti Township location, WXYZ reported.

The closures were announced Wednesday afternoon and include locations in Canton and Detroit. The closures are part of an effort to restructure and strengthen the company's financial position.


The ACO hardware store is located within the troubled Gault Village shopping complex in Ypsilanti Township. file photo

ACO President and CEO Dick Snyder said in a news release that the closures of the stores will ensure the company's long-term growth and sustainability. Each location will have a total inventory blowout sale, beginning Thursday, May 23. Closure dates have yet to be announced.

The Ypsilanti location is at 1036 Emerick St., within the troubled 235,000-square-foot Gault Village Shopping Plaza along Grove Road near Interstate 94. The plaza has been plagued with vacancy and legal issues throughout the years.

The former Kmart within the plaza was partially demolished, after being abandoned for more than 22 years. In April, the township said the owner, Michael McGlothin, was being held in contempt of court for the demolition delay.

A judge declared the Value Foods store within the complex a public nuisance and ordered it closed in 2011.

The plaza is owned by Sylvan Township-based Union Lake Associates. The closure of ACO will impact the already struggling plaza.

Mike Radzik, director of the township's office of community standards, previously told Gault Village has struggled since freeway exits at nearby I-94 were eliminated around 30 years ago. Radzik also said the plaza has been an eyesore for nearby resident.

“It went from being a regional draw to a strictly local draw, so businesses that couldn’t draw under those circumstances, by necessity, had to change,” he said.

Radzik said residents there liked the convenience of the ACO Hardware store and other stores.

According to ACO's website, the first store was opened in 1946 in Dearborn. The business grew to 66 locations in the state, employing more than 1,200 Michigan residents.

Two other ACO locations in Washtenaw County are slated to remain open. There's an ACO location at 423 E. Michigan Avenue in Saline and at 1103 S. Main Street in Chelsea.

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Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

I am also sad to see ACO close and yes, this will be the death knell for Gault Village. I would like to offer a suggestion for those of you who would like to support a local Ypsilanti business with great staff who are caring and very helpful. They offer all kinds of repair services, they are honest, and helpful beyond expectation. Please give ACE Hardware on Pearl Street in the City of Ypsilanti a chance to earn your business. It is a great hardward store!!!!!


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

Another one bites the dust

Hugh Giariola

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

That will be another nail in Gault Village's coffin. That ACO was the only reason I would venture to that part of town. Now I guess I no longer have to.

Millicent Little

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

ACO is a great neighborhood hardware store that I frequent all the time. It's close to my home, so I ride my bike there all the time. I sure am disappointed that it is closing.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:34 a.m.

I found the website to complain about this closure. A phone# is listed too.

Millicent Little

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

Thanks for posting this GP...I am going to call today. Aco has a professional, knowledgeable staff and many items that you wont find in big box chain home improvement stores. The customer service is exemplary.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:24 a.m.

Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This really sucks. I love that store.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 4:48 a.m.

thats too bad, the aco here in Ypsilanti has been here forever and the only thing it will strengthen around here is home depots bottom line,, and put yet another empty store front in this already struggling community... it will sure be a sad day !


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

Measurement, Inc. is still a viable tenant in this complex. They are located directly next to the K-Mart that was demolished. Their location is not well-marked, or well-advertised, but they employ hundreds of people at various times of the year. Employees often shop at the ACO during their lunch hours or after work. ACO is definitely the retail "anchor", however, and will surely be missed.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

that store is awesome. i went there all the time when i lived nearby. i STILL go there on occasion for things. great nut/bolt selection...can't find that at a "box store"


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

I love that ACO, and I'm very sad that it's closing. It was the only store worth going to in that plaza. With all the residents in that area, I don't understand how that plaza can't support stores there.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 10:29 p.m.

One of my fav stores to just walk thru and browse. Always seem to find something I need. I also get asked many times if I need help. really am going to miss this store. We need a store like this for the township. Now they are having a huge blow out sale this weekend. See you all there. :).. :(

greg s

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

Well that's the end of Gault Village , lots of memories there since Grants was the anchor.

Gordon Dooley

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

Where am I going to get keys made now lol? I've watched this shopping center do nothing but decay over the last 30 years. I don't know why they closed the express way exit but that was pretty much the beginning of the end for Gault Village. I'd like to know what are future plans to revive this area. Ypsilanti should be an attractive, affordable community for business and residents alike especially being in such close proximity to so many colleges and universities. We have all read stories about the demise but where is the plan to revitalize?


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 3:22 a.m.

Gordon, Exactly! A business revitalization plan for Ypsilanti Township is solely needed.

Life in Ypsi

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

I am sad to see them go.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

Well,I'm bettin this will be the final death blow to Gault Village shopping center


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

Even though the building was in terrible shape, I dread having to go to home depot & lowes for all of my needs as it relates to home repair issues. The big box retailers only have a few people that can be as personal as the workers are at aco in ypsilanti. I will miss there fertilizer deals, grass seed products and how many tools and paint brushes that I have purchased over the many years that I have shopped there. Unless the freeway opens again this mini mall area is dead and soon to be gone because as we have often done ourselves, we ride by on the freeway and realize that it is too late to turn around and go back so guess who gets aco's money. Lowes, meijers, home depot or some other store down the road.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

Ace Hardware on Pearl Street in downtown Ypsi. Fabulous store, locally owned! They deserve your business!


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

True, if you have an ACE hardware store, try them, a little better then ACO. If not, go to Lowes, beats HD by a mile

John Tuttle

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Well, that's disappointing. Every time I've had an emergency hardware need, that's where I'd end up. Now I'm going to have to go all the way in to AA when my toilet springs a leak?


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

@flyonthewall: What you said! The Ace hardware store on Pearl is a gem. I have never gone in there in search of something--including window screen repair--that they haven't had. It's a great local business and deserves our support, so John Tuttle, give it a try!


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

Try Congdon's Ace Hardware on Pearl near Huron Street, another established local hardware store. It's not the largest of spaces but they have knowledgeable employees and carry items not always found that are in usable quantities. When looking for hydraulic cement to plug some rod pops in my basement, they had the perfect size container. Home Depot had it but only in commercial quantity.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

There's been a sign near Textile and Tuttle Hill announcing that a new hardware store is coming soon. I don't recall if it is ACO or True Value. Initially, my thoughts were that it was the ACO relocating.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, May 27, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

just drove by that sign at textile and tuttle hill. it's for an ACE as in ACE is the place for your helpful hardware man... NOT ACO. bam

Little Patience

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8 p.m.

@twizz1, I was just going to post the same thing. Just like the Animal hospital sign on Whittaker Road near the old State Police building. The sign has been there for probably 10 years, yet no new vet office.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

Yes, thanks for bring this up! I've lived near there for nearly 5 years and I've been wondering about that since. Any update on this would be greatly appreciated.

Katrease Stafford

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Interesting, twizz. Still might be worth checking into!


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

That sign has been there for as long as i can remember and i've lived near it for over 10 years

Katrease Stafford

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

Thanks for the tip, flyonthewall. We'll look into it.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

I hope the Store Managers and Employees of this location will be allowed transfer rights to other ACO Locations. This store will be missed as they have the most helpful retail store staff in this area of the Township, in my humble opinion. Noting that ACO was really the last location keeping this retail strip mall SOMEWHAT afloat, is it time for Township Officials to explore ways, working with the owner, demolish this location completely or force Lake Union to make the necessary upgrades to attract the proper retail cliente?


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

Revenues have declined all across Michigan as the Housing Market took a dive in 2007. The point is that businesses have closed at a rapid level Ypsilanti Township while operating/opening in other areas including Canton/Canton Township & Pittsfield Township. I'm not sure if tax abatement's are the answer but something needs to be done. As for commercial retail establishments and store front businesses, regulations are made in other areas to ensuring locations meet the minimum appearance standards for the community. Gault Village Shopping Plaza --which has been in its current state for years--- meets no one standards, except of the uncaring investor. The point is the old way of "doing business" is not helping Ypsilanti Township as GM Powertrain is gone and is never coming back. Maybe a community based discussion could take place to generate "out of the box ideas" for maintaining or establishing new businesses in the area. Doing nothing is not a option in a highly competitive market, when tax revenues are solely needed and maintaining/adding businesses provides a viable option to consider.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

I'm certainly in no position to defend whatever practices you feel the Twp is lacking in. But I'm fairly certain that there's nothing the powers that be can do about a corporate decision to downsize under performing stores, as is the case with ACO. I believe that Sesi's was a consolidation of two business sitesand the owners made the decision to move the Ypsi location to the "auto mall" on Jackson Rd. I recall comments that individuals didn't even realize the Burger King on Ellsworth as even there but is it a coincidence that Busch's was located in the same location? Possibly it's a spot that isn't conducive to certain businesses. Ram's Horn took over a building that had already seen a restuarant go under. The bottom line is that there is very little the local government can do to once a business decision has been made. What would you propose, tax abatements? That's small potatoes when compared to continual declining revenues.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Fly On the Wall, I agree as many articles have stated Township Officials have worked with the Court System impale the owners of Gault Village comply with basic standards to little to no avail. Yet, a proper question to ask is how Canton/Canton Township and/or Pittsfield Township work within their planning and building zoning departments, compelling a cooperative relationships with Retail Proprietors? Maybe we (Ypsilanti Township) need to ask for advice from these areas, discuss the results with Township residents and take proper action. We can't keep making excuses when the next business like ACO Hardware and all of their employees leave Ypsilanti Township. The same with Sesi's, Discount Tire, Burger King on Ellsworth, Busch's Grocery Store, Ram Horn, Ypsi-Arbor Bowling Alley and a number of other businesses I've personally have seen leave this Township in the past three to five years. When the businesses left, jobs and opportunities for Township Residents went with them. Considering General Motors Powertrain (or any of GM's competitors) are never coming back bringing 30-40K jobs to this area, we must foster ways to be seen by retail, restaurant and other medium/small business sized establishments, as a place to do business. When we have locations in the condition of Lake Union's owned Gault Village Shopping Plaza, along with the hit and miss businesses located on Michigan and Washtenaw Avenue areas of the Township, it appears to investors the Township is dying. Instead of growing or in a position for growth.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Not without the help of the landlord who, at least from I've read, seems to have trouble remembering it actually owns it.

Katrease Stafford

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

flyonthewall, Or will some of them try to fight to stay at their location? I know the beauty supply store has a relatively consistent clientele, but that could adversely be impacted if more vacancies continue to occur. Do you think this complex can be redeveloped with thriving stores?


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Katrease, one most likely doesn't need a crystal ball to see that they're toast. One gets the idea that Lake Union is using this parcel as a tax write off/business loss.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

Previous articles have detailed the difficulties and frustrations the Township has encountered in dealing with this absentee landlord.

Katrease Stafford

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Good point, YpsiGirl4Ever. ACO did seem to be the busiest location out of all the stores left in Gault Village. I wonder how the loss of this store will impact the rest of the businesses.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

Great quote "It went from being a regional draw to a strictly local draw, so businesses that couldn't draw under those circumstances, by necessity, had to change," he said. Now ask why it went from being a regional draw to a local draw (beyond lack of highway exits)? Because Ypsi does not connect to itself!!


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

That entire area began a downslide when the exit was closed. Access to I-94 from the homes off of Grove and north on Prospect became difficult, more so for those off of Prospect. Closing Beyer Hospital was another nail in the coffin.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

More likely than not when the freeway entrance/exit off of Grove/Prospect Roads were closed.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

This is terrible - I am at that ACO once a week and more in the summer! Its a great place and run well by pro's. This could be an excellent shopping destination but its too segregated to one area to draw anyone else. If you don't know where this is, try and get there from I-94; you have to cross the highway twice to get there. Just part of the issue of Ypsi (Township) not connecting enough to itself to sustain businesses and have them thrive. I really hope the leaders are paying attention and address this lack of connectivity at the master plan meetings.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

"Mike Radzik, director of the township's office of community standards, previously told Gault Village has struggled since freeway exits at nearby I-94 were eliminated around 30 years ago. " I'd say if the townships director of community standards points to the areas hardships being attributed to I-94 access, then it's likely it was out of his or the townships control. Seems like that's more of an MDOT thing? There is not really much that can be done if there was once was a freeway entrance/exit to this district and now there is not one.