Finding new life for old Kmarts
Between 2012 and 2017, the First Coast witnessed every local Kmart store being closed as the long time national retail chain struggles to survive. In a city filled with an increasing amount of mostly vacant retail centers, former Kmart stores have become redevelopment beacons. Here is a look at the fall and adaptive reuse rebirth of six former First Coast Kmarts.
9600 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida
In 1979, Kmart opened this store in Mandarin, making it one of the last locations the chain constructed in Jacksonville. In 2016, it was one of two local Kmarts to close along with the company’s Sear’s location at Regency Square Mall. Later that year, the former store was acquired by Atlantic Mini Storage of America Inc., a subsidiary of Jacksonville-based Ash Properties for $4.39 million. Current plans are to convert the 105,737 square foot building into several entertainment and retail uses. Plans call for the conversion of the building into a five unit multitenant retail center anchored by Sun-Ray Cinema. Sun-Ray Cinema, an independent movie theater in Riverside’s Five Points, will open a five-screen theater with stadium seating for 600.
1777 U.S. 1 South, St. Augustine, Florida
(Courtesy of The Shopping Center Group)
The anchor tenant for St. Augustine’s Seabridge Square shopping center, this Kmart store was closed in 2012. A year later, Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises launched a complete makeover the shopping center. Instead of filling the 90,000-square-foot former Kmart store with one tenant, the space was broken up into five separate retail spaces. Completed at the cost of $12 million, the former Kmart space is now occupied by ALDI, Staples, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less and Ulta Beauty.
1525 Sadler Road, Fernandina Beach, Florida
(Courtesy of Phillips Edison & Company)
An anchor tenant of Fernandina Beach’s Island Walk shopping center, Kmart closed this store in 2012. By 2013, it had been redeveloped into a multiple tenant space occupied by Bealls, Bealls Outlet, and Home Centric.
Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at email@example.com.