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A New Face for Former Ace Building

The former Door County Ace Hardware building at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay will look different on the outside and be used differently on the inside.

The city’s Aesthetic Design and Site Plan Review Board approved alterations Monday to the store’s former building to reestablish entrance doors toward 3rd Avenue and divide the building into three tenant spaces, with each space having accessible entrances and a new accessible ramp being installed. The exterior of the building is also being altered to add new windows and cement-board siding.

Amy LaBott of Door County Ace Hardware, which last year moved into a new building on Egg Harbor Road, said the store’s former downtown location is being updated “so it’s not so ’70s-like,” with the stone and the overhang in front being removed.

“Our inspiration was looking back at the hardware store from 1941 and trying to get that facade, and then just carry that from the original hardware store to the rest of the building,” she said.

LaBott said she is planning to take out two parking spots along the Jefferson Street side of the building that are difficult to enter or exit and then put in landscaping.

“What I see is grass, maybe like a little fence, depending on the tenants,” she said. “We don’t have any tenants right now in any of the spots.”

LaBott said possible tenants she is looking at having in the building could include mercantile and maybe a restaurant or a brew pub.

“We’re just doing the outside totally plain, and then we’re basically, literally, putting back what got taken down through the years,” she said. “We’re putting the walls back in exactly in the existing locations where they came down.”

LaBott said she hopes the space will be available for occupancy by the end of the year.

The former Door County Ace Hardware building is within the boundaries of Tax Increment District (TID) #8, which the city created this year with a new music school and venue called Muse being planned to occupy the vacant lot across Jefferson Street where the Moeller’s Garage auto dealership once stood.