Daily News

Rocky’s Ace Hardware Breaks Ground on New, Larger Store in South Hadley

SPRINGFIELD — Rocky’s Ace Hardware, one of the country’s largest family-owned Ace Hardware dealers, held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 19 for a new, expanded store in the South Hadley Plaza at 501 Newton St., which is co-owned locally by the Falcone, Picknelly, and Yee families. The anticipated opening of the new store is March 2025, replacing the existing store in the same plaza.

“This is going to be a 13,000-square-foot new building, all new construction,” Rocky’s Ace Hardware President and CEO Rocco Falcone II said. “We will be relocating from a 10,000-square-foot store, expanding the sales floor and adding a 2,000-square-foot garden center for live plants, Christmas trees, and things of that nature.”

Plans for the new Rocky’s store also include expanded paint and grilling centers, as well as a workwear department featuring the Carhartt brand.

“We’ll carry all the quality name brands we’re known for, such as Benjamin Moore paint; Weber, Traeger, and Big Green Egg in grilling; and Milwaukee, Dewalt, Stihl, Ego, and Craftsman in power tools, to name a few,” Falcone said. “We’ve got a big partnership with Scotts in lawn and garden, and the indoor and outdoor power-equipment department is going to be a knock-your-socks-off experience.”

Falcone noted that, when the Falcone, Picknelly, and Yee families purchased the plaza in 2016, it contained an empty former grocery store and wasn’t being used to its potential. He said the second phase of the project, slated to begin in March 2025 in conjunction with Way Finders, is to construct a six-unit apartment building.

Edison Yee, a partner in the project, said, “I grew up in the town of South Hadley, and in the late ’70s and early ’80s, this used to be our hangout, a gathering spot for meeting up for the night. There used to be a Friendly’s and a Waldbaum’s grocery store. Waldbaum’s closed in 2013, and it’s been relatively dormant since then. I think this revitalization signifies a new era for South Hadley, to hopefully bring the community together and back to this area.”

Falcone said he remembers signing the lease on the South Hadley store back in the ’80s. “It was our seventh store location, and now we have 50. We’re pretty excited to become more ingrained into the South Hadley community as a property owner and not just a tenant.”

The current Rocky’s store will remain open with minimal disruptions during construction and will be available for lease after the store moves to its new home. Construction of the new store is being led by Caolo & Bieniek Architects and Inglewood General Contractors, in conjunction with Falcone Development.