Second Addition in Last Five Years Expands Three Major Departments to Better Serve
Fountain Hills Residents’ Home Improvement and Garden Needs.
FOUNTAIN HILLS – Responding to the home improvement needs of Fountain Hills residents and local contractors, Paul’s ACE Hardware – one of the community’s oldest retail businesses – has completed the most recent expansion to its Fountain Hills Plaza store.
Julie Buchkowski, president of Paul’s ACE Hardware, said that for the second time in five years the Fountain Hills store has undergone a major expansion, adding another 3,887 square feet to the existing 22,800-square-foot store. The additional space expands the store’s paint department, lawn and garden products, and outdoor furniture and accessory departments.
Construction on the new addition began earlier this summer.
Buchkowski continues to build a business model that was created by her grandfather, Paul Dauwalder, who opened the Fountain Hills store in 1973. “His primary focus was to provide local customers with what they needed,” she recalls fondly. “And, oh yes, one of the other reasons that he opened the Fountain Hills store was because he wanted to live here.”
Over the years, the store has evolved into one of Paul’s ACE Hardware’s most consistent and busiest stores, Buchkowski said, with approximately 70% of the store’s business coming from local residents and 30% from professional contractors.
Now in its 56th year of operation, the company owns and operates four other Paul’s ACE Hardware Stores in Scottsdale, Tempe and Gilbert.
The store underwent a major renovation in 2008 when it expanded from 16,800 to 22,800 square feet, providing Fountain Hills customers with a greater selection of hardware, garden and paint products.
“Our most recent expansion focuses on three areas,” Buchkowski said. “People living in Fountain Hills are very proud of their homes, and it has become quite apparent that they are looking for new alternatives in paint products, yard and garden products and accessories, and outdoor decorative items that enhance their outdoor-oriented lifestyles. As a result, our ‘new’ store now focuses on these three areas.”
Brandon Timmers, manager of the store, said the Fountain Hills location is one of ACE Hardware’s top 25 stores in the country in the paint category. “Our new and expanded paint department includes a larger selection of high-end paints, broader selection of colors, and new and innovative interior and exterior paint products,” he said.
Timmers said the expanded lawn and garden section provides a broader line of outdoor décor products, including new outdoor lighting selections, outdoor accessories and outdoor art items.
Buchkowski said the new expansion is also designed to better serve commercial customers in the Fountain Hills area.
“Since approximately 30 percent of our business comes from professionals working in the trades,” Buchkowski said, “we hope our larger store will help us meet the overall needs of builders and other trade specialists. Over the years, this has been an important part of our business, and we take great pride in our free delivery and our advanced computer system that provides our commercial customers with unmatched service.”
Currently, Paul’s ACE Hardware stocks items representing more than 200 manufacturers. “We are fortunate to be affiliated with ACE Hardware – a buying group of more than 5,000 stores,” she said. “Our Prescott Valley warehouse allows us access to more than 70,000 items that can be delivered to us in just a day. In addition to ACE, we stock products from hundreds of other vendors. This allows us to deliver on my grandfather’s favorite phrase, ‘If we don’t have it, we will get it for you’.”
The excitement about the expanded Fountain Hills store and the day-to-day challenges of meeting customers’ everyday hardware needs is evident in Buchkowski’s “get it done” attitude. “Our 30 Fountain Hills store employees are excited about our new expansion,” she said. “We have worked hard with The Pederson Group – the project’s developer – to provide residents of the trade area with a store that meets all of their hardware and household needs. We feel the additional space will help us meet this goal.
“As we look ahead in Fountain Hills, we will continue to provide our customers with what they have come to expect from us – top flight customer service. It is the standard by which we judge ourselves, and the foundation of the business model that my grandfather founded more than 56 years ago.”
James R. Pederson, senior leasing agent for The Pederson Group, said, “Over the years, our company has developed a close relationship with Julie Buchkowski and her Paul’s ACE Hardware team. Once again we are pleased to help them with their expansion efforts as they continue to serve Fountain Hills with their excellent service and wide range of hardware, yard and patio, paint and decorating products. This most recent expansion is indicative of their retail success and their constant efforts to respond to the marketplace.”
Originally constructed in 1986, Fountain Hills Plaza – located at the southwest corner of Palisades Boulevard and La Montana Drive – is a 124,500-square-foot center that underwent a $23 million renovation project that was completed in the summer of 2009. The center is anchored by a 49,967-square-Bashas’ Supermarket that was completely rebuilt during the renovation. The center is also home to Great Clips, Radio Shack, Pony Express, Dental Care Specialists, American Family Insurance, Flapjacks, Instant Imprints, Cheryl’s Interiors, Fountain Hills Medical Clinic, Fore Peaks Realty, Fountain Fashions, Touche Hair Design and R&R Nails.
For more than 29 years The Pederson Group has been a premier Phoenix-based real estate development company specializing in upscale retail projects. The company has developed and remodeled more than 27 highly successful retail and mixed-use projects in the great Phoenix area, and has developed shopping centers totaling more than five million square feet.