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Economy Shutters Decorative Hardware Store With Kirkwood Past

Hardware Gallery has been on New Ballas for just over a year after spending three years in Kirkwood.

Not sensing an improvement in the economy that would give reason for their decorative hardware store to stay in business, Mike and Beth Will are closing Hardware Gallery in Creve Coeur Friday.

The shop opened on New Ballas Road in May of 2011 after being in for three years. The goal of the store was to cater to shoppers who would otherwise need to go to Chicago or Atlanta to find merchandise.

"I don't see any improvement in the economy," Mike Will said in a brief phone interview Thursday afternoon. While home sales in the area are picking up in general, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted recently, new home construction has been slow.

The paper reports "St. Louis builders are on pace to complete about 3,500 homes this year, according to the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri." That's in stark contrast to pre-economic crisis levels in 2008.

Will, a homebuilder before turning to the business, said he plans to sell real estate now in homes of returning to the homebuilding business down the road.

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