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Get nails and pens under one roof

ASHLAND ­ Ashland General Hardware, a local fixture since the early'40s, should have a new home on A Street across from its current locationby sometime in October.

Proprietor Paul Comstock says the building, now under construction, willhouse both of his businesses ­ the hardware store and A Street OfficeSupply ­ under a single roof. The move will increase the stores' combinedfootprint from 12,000 to 17,000 square feet, and allow customers to passbetween stores without stepping outside.

Contractors need pencils and people in offices need light bulbs,Comstock said, explaining the urge to expand and join. We'll alsobe able to do better display. We're kind of crammed in here. We've beenin this building 11 years.

Increased space will allow for some expansion of the store's inventory;the first likely addition will be a lawn and garden section, Comstock said.

Fifty parking spaces will also be available. That's more than the combinedtotal available for all the businesses at the hardware store's present location.

Comstock says he plans to rent out the two vacant commercial spaces oncehe moves his stores into the new building.

The building, by designer Doyle Brightenburg and architect Jerome White,both of Ashland, will be wheelchair-accessible and reflect the lines ofthe nearby railroad depot with deep eaves, tall, multi-paneled windows,and a muted color scheme of grays and greens.

Comstock says it will be the third location for Ashland General Hardware.It once occupied the building that now houses Naturals of Ashland, acrossfrom the Wells Fargo Bank, at 110 Lithia Way.

J.D. Revis of Ashland works on the foundation of Ashland General Hardware's new building across from the present store on A Street. - Photo by Bob Pennell</P