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Ace Hardware in Friday Harbor faces forclosure; auction set for Friday
After 30 years in business, Friday Harbor Ace Hardware on Argyle Avenue is headed toward foreclosure and an auction on the courthouse steps Friday at 10 a.m.
The owner, J. Philip Miller of Camano Island, is the sole owner of the property, now in arrears to the total of $669,751.43 in debt financing that became due May 30. According to documents filed at the county, Miller also owes $19,582 in back taxes.
Miller bought the business from the Nash brothers, Al, Kenneth and Charles, in 1978. It was affiliated as an Ace Hardware store even then, Al Nash recalled.
Beneficiary of the deed of trust, Key Bank of Washington, is represented by attorney William Weissinger of Friday Harbor, who is acting as trustee.
Miller is represented by Chris Skinner of Skinner and Saar of Oak Harbor and Friday Harbor. Neither Miller nor his attorney could be reached for comment.
As the clock ticks down, it's unclear what stage of refinancing the property is in because both parties have remained silent because of attorney-client privilege. "What I can tell you is whether the loan has been paid off. Indeed, it has not been," Weissinger said Tuesday.
However, Ace Hardware manager Barb Porter told The Journal Tuesday, "I was assured by the owner everything is under way. There will be no changes in our operations."
Weissinger said that as of Wednesday midday, there was no change in the property's status. "The sale, presumably, will go forward," he said.
The pending auction on the courthouse steps Friday applies to the property on which the business sits, but doesn't apply to the inventory, Weissinger said.
It is unclear what effect any foreclosure sale would have on the business or its employees.