Local hardware store begins expansion project

Hillsboro Hardware began the first phase of expanding into the

neighboring building last week.

Ken and Tom Koslowsky, owners, purchased the former Goertz Furniture

building 21/2 years ago.

They decided to buy the historic structure when it came up for sale as

part of an estate.

?The building had not been for sale for 70 years,? Tom said.

At the time they purchased it, Tom and Ken did not have plans to

expand, but they wanted the property in case they wanted to in the


?(Expanding) was not in our immediate plans,? Tom said.

Ken said they had been thinking about expanding for some time. The

opportunity arose when Goertz Furniture closed its doors earlier this


?There is a lot of history in that building,? Tom said.

Most of the changes will be made in the shop area. The part of the

current store customers see will remain about the same.

The Koslowskys plan to make openings in the wall between the two

businesses, allowing more room for the retail area, shop and back


Making that opening may be the most difficult part of the project

because the Koslowskys do not know how thick the walls are or how the

buildings are tied together.

The expansion will add 2,000 square feet for retail in the Goertz

building. When the back of the current store is opened, the retail

space will be increased by a total of 3,200 square feet.

Ken said part of the challenge in renovating will be keeping the

business open while the work is being done.

?The biggest change that will be noticeable will be the individual

things, such as paint, plumbing and lawn and garden,? Tom said.

The store?s tool department also will be enlarged. The increase will

be within current product lines, not adding new lines.

Ken and Tom Koslowsky said this addition is the third biggest change

they have made in the store during their 15 years in business.

The business began in the building now occupied by the Cooperative

Grain & Supply Farm Store on North Ash.

Two years later, it was moved to their current location on Main


In 1996, they purchased the hardware store in Marion, which since has

been sold.

The most recent expansion of the store didn?t increase floor space.

Rather, it raised the height of fixtures by two feet.

?We had a lot of room to grow at the time, and now it?s full again,?

Tom said.

The Koslowskys hope the first phase of the renovation will be

completed within three months.

The second phase of the project will involve the back room of their

current building.

They have no immediate plans to renovate the storefronts of the two

buildings, but hope to pursu

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