Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 2.51.15 PM
Berkeley Ace Hardware will need to relocate temporarily when construction begins on a new apartment complex. The store has not yet found a new space. Photo: Google

By Camille Baptista

As downtown Berkeley prepares for the construction of the city’s largest ever apartment building, locally owned Berkeley Ace Hardware remains on the lookout for a place to relocate temporarily. Owners Bill and Virginia Carpenter continue to consider open spaces around Berkeley, but are hoping to remain downtown.

“The process is going slow,” Bill Carpenter said. He added that if community members know of open spaces where the store might be able to move in, they should let him know.

Although the owners looked into occupying the former Walgreen’s space, at 2190 Shattuck Ave. at Allston Way, Carpenter said it was unsuitable for a few reasons. In addition to a “chopped up” interior, there is no designated parking available, a feature that is valued at the current 2145 University Ave. location. He also said the rent in the Walgreen’s space is high.

“We’re a private company and we don’t have deep pockets,” he said. According to Carpenter, the business has until spring 2014 to find a location.

Once the new 205-unit Acheson Commons apartment complex is built, Ace should be able to move back into its original spot, where 22 parking spaces will be reserved for retail customers.

As the owners face the task of finding a temporary home, Carpenter said he is also worried about the potential impact of an increased minimum wage law — a proposal that has sparked debate throughout the city this summer. Carpenter said such an increase wouldn’t put the store out of business, but would affect its ability to hire students in the summer.

This article was updated after press time to correct an error regarding the number of parking spaces that will be reserved for Ace Hardware in the new apartment complex. The original project plans allotted 46 spaces to Ace and other retailers, but the current plan reserves only 22.

Camille Baptista is a summer intern at Berkeleyside. She grew up in Berkeley and now studies at Barnard in New York City, where she writes for the Columbia Daily Spectator.

City’s largest apartment building ever gets go-ahead (07.11.13)
Berkeley considers city-wide minimum wage hike (06.18.13)
Ace Hardware will not move to Andronico’s old space (09.18.12)
Berkeley Ace Hardware looks to move to Andronico’s site (08.28.12)

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