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Two business closings rankle east siders

Two longtime area stores will soon be closing. Ace Hardware at 209 Cottage Grove Road is closed today and will launch a going-out-of-business sale tomorrow. It will close July 21 and does not have plans to reopen or relocate.

A “for sale” sign now stands in front of the strip mall. Asking price: $3.4 million.

Meanwhile, Ben Franklin, a staple for at least 60 years at what is now 4108 Monona Drive in the Lake Edge Shopping Center, will close June 30 with a “long-term tenant” opening July 1, according to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal.

The business had reportedly been operating on a month-to-month lease for years.

Below is a response from Galway Companies Inc., owner of the Lake Edge strip mall, to an inquiry from a East Side resident regarding the Ben Franklin closing as posted on the social networking app Nextdoor:

“We are excited to announce that Burn Boot Camp will be moving into the space currently occupied by Ben Franklin. We understand there have been several negative emails regarding the landlord renewing Ben Franklin’s lease. All we can tell you is there are two sides to every story. When we took over management of this shopping center, we were told by Ben Franklin that sales were terrible and that they were not able to commit to the center long-term. As the manager of this property, it’s our responsibility to keep this a lively shopping center for the neighborhood with tenants who are willing to contribute to the vibrancy of the center. Additionally, our company has absolutely nothing to do with the shopping center where Ace Hardware is located, or that closure. Galway Companies Inc.”

North Carolina-based Burn Boot Camp has locations around the country, including Middleton, Verona, and Sun Prairie.

Madison-based Galway Cos. is also redeveloping the $36 million Yahara Commons riverfront project in Monona.

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