Plans are moving forward for Morgan’s Ace Hardware to relocate, as the city of Woodstock has selected a contractor to prepare the land and build road improvements around the store’s new site.
Woodstock awarded a bid to A1 Contracting for the project with a $1 million budget, which will involve making the Ace Hardware site “pad ready” with grading and filling, stormwater infrastructure and installing water and sewer lines.
The bid was approved with a 5-1 city council vote; Councilman Warren Johnson voted against the measure.
The hardware store is moving from its downtown district location further north up Main Street, to a site between Ridgewalk Parkway and Brook Boulevard to make room for a planned city center, which will include a parking deck.
The site for the store’s new location, near the Woodstock Knoll subdivision, consists of three lots with a total of about 24.5 acres. Earlier this year, the city annexed those lots with plans for Ace Hardware and “future neighborhood commercial” in the front 8.35 acres along Main Street and a passive park in the rear 16 acres.
Some road improvements for Main Street in this project are an expansion for turning lanes, a 10-foot concrete sidewalk and two entrance drives. The city also plans to add a traffic light and road connection from Main Street to the park through the Morgan’s lot.
Johnson later said his vote was not against the contract but the city’s involvement with Ace Hardware’s relocation.
“I was not opposed to the A1 contract itself. My vote in opposition was in regard to the fact I don’t support the city taking responsibility for preparing the relocation site for a viable privately owned business,” he said in an email to the Tribune.
According to City Manager Jeff Moon, Woodstock will soon issue the contractor a notice to proceed, after which they will have 60 days to complete the pad. In that time, some of the roadwork will be finished, and later the traffic light will be installed.
Plans for the new city center at the downtown location include a hotel, a parking deck, retail, office and restaurant space.