Stanley's Hardware on Ridge Avenue is one of those local businesses that's been around so long it becomes part of the scenery, but it's impossible to overlook the changes happening there this summer.

Work to expand the Roxborough business where Stanley Jaconski first began selling hardware in 1961 is now in full swing, with demolition complete on two adjacent houses and a row of garages, and preparations are beginning to put a new Stanley's True Value Hardware building on the site.

Brothers Joe and Mark Jaconski, grandsons of the original Stanley, are more than tripling the current retail space to about 12,000 square feet, and will include a tool rental and garden center. They'll also build a larger storage facility, across from the current store, Joe Jaconski said.

For nearby residents, the expansion will create a more accessible alternative to the big-box home improvement centers, which are all at least a 15 minute drive away. Jaconski said the current employees and the current level of customer service aren't going to change, but every core department will grow.

At 5555 Ridge Ave., Stanley's has been a handy place to pick up a single item when you need to fix something, but the store is also a mainstay of local contractors and small business operators, who account for about 40 percent of their trade, Jaconski said.

"We are not going to lose touch with that -- our business was grown through that" connection with the neighborhood and the community, Jaconski said.

Shopping at Stanley's has a familiar, intimate feel that comes in part from the tight quarters, but also because many of the employees have been working there for decades: Between just five guys on the staff, there is more than 120 years of experience, Jaconski said. There may also be more hires when the expansion is complete, he said.

The new building will have the wide, low profile and brick facade, but will sit perpendicular to Ridge Avenue, lessening its impact along the street. A temporary parking lot will be set up where the houses and garages were, while the new store is built, Jaconski said.

Eventually, the temporary lot will become permanent, with a stormwater retention basin beneath. The last part of the project will see the current building demolished.

NewsWorks has partnered with independent news gatherer PlanPhilly to provide regular, in-depth, timely coverage of planning, zoning and development news. Contact Amy Z. Quinn at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .