Builders' Hardware Heading for New Home in REO Town

Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 7:06 am
By: 
Andrew Graham

For more than 70 years, Builders' Hardware has been the place to go for front door facelifts, stylish handles and hinges, and more.

Builders’ Hardware, an East Lansing institution since 1946, is moving from its Harrison Road location to a larger store in Lansing’s REO Town.

The company announced the move Saturday on Facebook and provided a date, May 28, for the opening of the new store at 1009 S. Washington Ave. A grand opening was teased, but company president Caryn Drenth said the date will likely be in June or July, once exterior signage is finished.

Builders’ Hardware is moving, Drenth said, because the current store doesn’t meet the company's need for more storage space and parking. The new store has a showroom about twice as large and a unified warehouse that is about 30 percent larger than the current store, Drenth said.

The new, climate-controlled warehouse allows for storage of all stock in one place and the addition of a forklift, much to the pleasure of employees who have spent years unloading trucks by hand.

“They’re very excited,” Drenth said.

Builders' eclectic array of hardware offers something for everyone.

Drenth likes the new REO Town location, citing increased foot traffic, and investment from local business and the Board of Water and Light, as the main reasons for the new location.

It reminds Drenth of what it used to be like on the stretch of Harrison Road, just north of Michigan Avenue, where Builders’ Hardware resides now. Drenth’s father became a partner at Builders’ Hardware after having worked there as a college student, and she remembers a steady stream of business from neighbors. Now, the neighborhood is dominated by college students, not homeowners.

But REO Town offers a similar feel to what Drenth remembers.

“It’s a good, up-and-coming neighborhood,” she said.

In moving out, Builders’ Hardware is vacating the oldest commercial building in East Lansing, Drenth said.

The new location might not carry the same history or memories, for Drenth and those who have spent years shopping there, but it was the right choice. At the new store, they plan to make a small shrine of old tools and mementos from the current place to pay homage.

“It was a really hard decision to make,” Drenth said.

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