Ace Hardware is coming to Manhattan, where owner Steve Bachmeier intends not only to serve the community but to “impact lives.”
Construction was set to begin this week on the new 15,000-square-foot store building, which will be located at 130 East Wooden Shoe Lane, just around the bend from Stockman Bank. The store, expected to open in late September or early October, will be a little over half the size of Bachmeier’s Ace Hardware store in Belgrade and will carry a similar product line.
“It will be a core hardware store, with a greenhouse, plumbing, electrical and tools,” Bachmeier said. He predicted the needs of customers will be slightly different at the Belgrade and Manhattan shops, so inventory will be adjusted accordingly in order to best meet community needs.
Analyzing the Manhattan market isn’t a new exercise for Bachmeier, who said he began doing market studies there about 15 years ago. Manhattan Hardware closed in 2003, leaving a void that was filled when Hardware Hank opened on Main Street at the end of 2006 and operated for more than a decade.
“When they closed up shop, I started doing market studies again,” he said. “Our studies show we’ll be successful.”
The store initially will employ 10 to 12 full- and part-time workers, and Bachmeier expects the workforce to expand as the business grows.
“No question, it’s going to grow,” he said this week. “The response and welcome has been overwhelming so far.”
Betsy Mancuso, vice president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and a new member of the Manhattan Town Council, agreed the community is excited about the store coming to town.
“It will be nice to have a hardware store here instead of having to go to Belgrade or Bozeman,” she said.
Aside from convenience, she added, “A retail establishment like this is a great fit for Manhattan” because store representatives have expressed a desire to be part of the community and contribute in whatever way they can.
“Our company mission is to impact lives, and that’s what we intend to do by providing employment and services to the Manhattan community,” Bachmeier said. “We firmly believe you can’t just take from the community – you have to give back.”
“I think that’s wonderful,” Mancuso said. “Manhattan is a family community, and we want to keep that feel instead of having it explode like a big city.”
This isn’t the first time Bachmeier has built a new store from the ground up. He came to the Gallatin Valley in 1996 when he bought True Value Hardware (rebranded in 2017 as Ace Hardware), which was then located in the Valley Center Mall. After being destroyed by fire in early 2007, the business operated out of temporary digs for about a year and a half on South Broadway while its current 25,000-square-foot home was being built on Jackrabbit Lane. The store has been doing business there since November 2008.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon. John Miller Construction of Belgrade is the contractor for the $2-plus million project.