The Kmart store in Oak Ridge is closing in mid-December, and the company’s lease expires in March. It’s too early to comment on prospective tenants, but the property owners have already had quite a bit of interest in that building, a manager said Tuesday.
Kmart has been located on South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge for 25 years, said Jim Harrison, manager of Oak Ridge Group Associates, which owns the property.
The owners would love to have Kmart stay and be successful, but now that the company has announced they’re closing the store, with a liquidation sale starting Thursday, Oak Ridge Group Associates is working hard to try to get the property redeveloped or leased again, Harrison said.
Oak Ridge Group Associates developed the property 25 years ago, building the Kmart and the former Kroger store, and now Hobby Lobby, on ground owned by Bob Monday.
Harrison said nothing is going into the former Mr. K’s Used Books and CDs for now. Oak Ridge Group Associates probably won’t determine what to do with that property until the future of the Kmart store has been determined.
The Kmart department store includes a pharmacy and a lawn and garden section, and it’s near the new Hobby Lobby, which has a grand opening scheduled for October 3. It’s also across South Illinois Avenue from the former Oak Ridge Mall, which, with the exception of Belk and JCPenney, has been demolished and is being rebuilt as Main Street Oak Ridge.
Hobby Lobby is opening at the former Kroger store. Kroger has moved to the intersection of North Illinois Avenue and Oak Ridge Turnpike.
Besides the Kmart in Oak Ridge, five other Kmart stores are scheduled to close in Tennessee in Clarksville, Hixson, Memphis, Nashville, and Smyrna. Those closings were announced less than six months after Kmart closed 78 other stores across the country.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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