MOUNT GREENWOOD — The shelves at Mount Greenwood Hardware were bare Wednesday evening, cleared out before the sale of the building at 3124 W. 111th St.
The wooden floor of the family-owned store showed signs of wear where decades of construction workers, handymen and homeowners made their way down the narrow aisles.
The building is being sold to an undisclosed buyer, who does not plan to continue operating the business as a hardware store. Owner Barry Zimmerman did not return a call Thursday requesting comment.
Zimmerman often lead customers through the maze of the homemade shelves stocked with plumbing and electrical supplies as well as other items not commonly found elsewhere. His family's store survived for years despite competition from sprawling hardware stores nearby.
Barry's grandfather, Sam Zimmerman, opened Mount Greenwood Hardware in 1929 and handed the business down to his two sons — Barry's father and uncle. Barry's father, Phil Zimmerman, died on July 15, 2014.
The third-generation owner said last month his struggles with Parkinson's disease led to the abrupt closure of the store on Dec. 15, 2014. He said the effects of the disease haven't progressed terribly in recent years, but he still needs to closely monitor his health.
Zimmerman previously said his business license was revoked because of delinquent sales taxes owed to the state. He said then that sales suffered during the latest recession. He was hoping to make up for the tax lapse when things improved, but he never got the chance.
Midcentral Sales handled the month-long liquidation sale at the hardware stores. An employee of the Oconto Falls, Wis.-based company said the new owner was planning to keep the antique sign on the building, perhaps rebranding it down the road.
Ivan Janda of O'Shaughnessy Realtors Inc. in Mount Greenwood also said last month that his company is handling the real estate sale. Neither he nor Zimmerman would divulge the identity of the new owner. The 3,200-square-foot store remains listed on O'Shaughnessy's website with a $199,000 price tag and a sale "pending."
Zimmerman said then the listing is in the ballpark of the agreed upon purchase price, and he expects the deal to close near the end of January.
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