Nailed down? Smith Ace property owner speaks out

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 16, 2014
Photo by Travis Hudgons, provided to Decaturish

Photo by Travis Hudgons, provided to Decaturish

The announcement on July 7 that Smith Ace Hardware on East College Avenue would be closing its doors took everyone by surprise, including the property owner.

Harold Smith called Decaturish on July 16  and said he first learned about it like everyone else did, through Facebook. Smith’s grandfather founded the store nearly 80 years ago but the family sold the company in the 1970s. The family still owns the property.

“I found out about it that Monday morning … ,” he said. “I think my wife told me.”

The message posted on the company’s Facebook page said, ““After 42 successful years, the Decatur store has closed its doors to allow the property to be developed. We thank you for your loyalty and your business.”

Decaturish left a message with the property owner at the time, which was returned on July 16. An employee at the store’s Buckhead office said that the owners of the hardware store and the building couldn’t reach an agreement about the lease. He said the building was also “falling apart” and in need of significant renovations.

Smith rebutted portions of that story. He said the store owner, Allen Dawson, “left me high and dry.”

“They had been on a month-to-month for years,” Smith said. “As far as I knew they were happy with it.”

Attempts to reach Dawson have been unsuccessful. This story will be updated when Dawson responds.

Smith also said there weren’t any plans to develop the property.

“Allen and I had spoken about it being developed. I had nothing,” Smith said. “Now I have to find something to do with it.”

He said the “phones have been lit up all week” from interested buyers. Smith said he doesn’t have a price point in mind.

“I am sure there is a greater use for it,” Smith said. “If I don’t sell it, I may reopen it.”

Currently the inventory at the store is set to be auctioned off by the store owners.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • NoBigBox

    I hope he reopens it! I love having my neighborhood Ace!

  • Mr. Smith, speaking as a patron of that store, many of us would truly appreciate you re-opening the Smith Ace Hardware. It’s my go-to home and lawn store and I miss it!

  • BA

    Another vote here for re-opening it….it was go to store for house projects, especially on weekends when I needed something fast.

  • Frankly

    Another vote for reopening, please!

  • m0nuMENT@L

    Mr. Smith,

    As a five year faithful patron of this store, please re-open it. I prefer to shop and keep my money in the local community, and now my alternatives are Intown ACE, Home Depot or Lowes. All of which are the same distance from the area. We’d all love to see this store opened back up and thriving.

  • diggiebatts

    Renovate it as two-story, have an eatery there, too.

  • Hopeful

    There are some dedicated “old timers” that would love to work back at Smith if reopened. The chatter on this blog and others show that this community would frequent the store and help it succeed!

  • Butter Beans

    My 70+ y.o. father-in-law recently told me he used to know the original Mr. Smith’s daughter (Laura Lynn or Laura Lee Smith or something?). He picked her up in Decatur and took her to his high school prom in Marietta many moons ago. Not that it matters, but I felt an extra special kinship with this place after hearing his cute story. Please reopen.

  • exilist

    Re-open please.

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