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Ace Hardware Owner Asks Sammamish to Represent at Council Meeting

Tim Koch sent a letter to supporters of the store asking them to attend the Tuesday, Dec. 4 Sammamish Council Meeting and speak about their desire to help the store move forward with a building project.

Sammamish Ace Hardware Store owner Tim Koch says he has a piece of land, financing, and a project, and wants to move forward with it as soon as possible.

Koch sent the following email to loyal customers over the weekend, along with a list of talking points for people to bring up during the public comment period of the meeting (attached here as a PDF):

We appreciate your interest in supporting our efforts to stay in business on the plateau! This is how you can help! Come to the next City Council meeting, Tuesday, December 4th at 6:30 pm and share with the Council why you need Sammamish Ace Hardware to stay on the plateau.

We sincerely appreciate all of our customers and hope to continue to serve you!

"I'm looking for folks to come over and say, 'We need Ace Hardware,'" Koch said.

The main thrust of the issue, the FAQ sheet Koch sent says, is that the Council has not yet had his development proposal in front of it yet, and he'd like the community to encourage the council to help fast track the proposal.

To make the project work, Koch is asking the city to do a land swap with a private property owner, who is ready to create replacement storm ponds for the City and to build a new facility for Ace Hardware on 228th Avenue NE just south of NE 4th Street, similar in size to its current 11,000-square-foot space. 

Koch said he has looked at other properties, including in the Sammamish Town Center, but said the town center turned out to be too expensive for an individual business such as his, and is meant more for a larger developer.

He said it could be some time before any Town Center projects would be ready for Ace to take advantage of. "They are not lining up like cordwood to do this," he said.

The bottom line, Koch said, is that vocal community support could help let the council know that a project for Ace Hardware is important to the city, and that keeping it on the Plateau is good for the local economy, too.

"There are things on the table there that need to happen to make this thing move forward, and I think those items are doable. The main goal here is to just get people to show up," he said.

"What a huge loss for the Sammamish community (if we have to close)—every town needs a hardware store," Koch said, adding that he really thinks his proposal can work and he's appreciated the support of the city council so far.

"This could be the start of a really great thing," Koch said.

Christie Malchow December 04, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I'd hate to see the Sammamish Ace hardware store close. Their employees are some of the best, always willing to help, ever present, and very friendly. I can't walk into a Home Depot and find an employee anywhere! Besides, going to Issaquah is so much less convenient than staying here on the plateau.
Mary Trask December 05, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I was out of town for the council meeting yesterday with Ace Hardware. I deeply hope the council ruled in favor of keeping Ace in our community. What a huge loss it would be for Sammamish to no longer have an Ace Hardware. No where could we find better customer service, great deals and a wide selection of items right here in our neighborhood.
Jeanne Gustafson December 05, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Thanks for your comments Christie and Mary. It looks like Ace was well-represented at the meeting last night. Though there wasn't exactly an agenda item for the council to consider on the issue last night, but many people spoke in support of helping the store get its project done. http://patch.com/A-0dY2
Mary Trask December 06, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Thanks Jeanne for the update. We hope that Ace will continue to let the community know how to support their efforts.

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