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Marietta Kmart to close in February

Photo by Michele Newbanks Shoppers brave the rain and cold weather to shop at the Marietta Kmart Thursday afternoon. The store will close its doors in mid-February.

Joining a long list of other locations across the country, the Marietta Kmart at 502 Pike St., will be closing its doors this winter.

Meanwhile, a potential buyer for the site was denied by the city’s planning commission.

Trina Bautista, media planner and buyer with Eldon W. Gottschalk & Associates, said the Kmart closing will take place in mid-February. The company has been hired for the store’s closing advertisements.

Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company of Kmart, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2018. In February, Kmart holdings were acquired by Transformco LLC.

Larry Costello, public relations director for Transformco, sent out a press release Thursday afternoon confirming the sale of the Marietta Kmart along with 95 other Kmart and Sears stores.

“Following these closures, Transformco will operate 182 stores. We will continue to evaluate our Sears and Kmart footprint, consistent with our overall retail and service strategy,” the statement notes.

In the press release, he adds that going out of business sales at these stores are expected to begin Dec. 2.

There will be approximately 100 stores still open at the end of the 2019. At its peak in 1994, there were more than 2,300 Kmart stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Bill Dauber, the city’s assistant safety-service director, said U-Haul representatives had come before the city’s planning commission on Wednesday to request to purchase and occupy the Kmart building for storage facilities. Before they could purchase the building, they needed a zoning exception.

“The present zoning ordinances would have to be set aside,” Dauber said. “It would be spot zoning, which is an atypical business among other businesses that comply with zoning laws.”

He said the commission unanimously rejected the request, as it wasn’t keeping with the current zoning.

“We’ll decline on the opportunity to comment,” said Andrea Batchelor, media and public relations specialist with U-Haul International.

Dauber said the owner of the nearby McDonalds and Microtel Inn also opposed the rezoning.

“There was a significant investment by McDonalds. They did a major upgrade,” Dauber said. “If they were going to invest, they wanted sufficient traffic to warrant the investment.”

He said from the city’s perspective, they would like to have a business at that location once Kmart closes its doors.

“My decision wasn’t on the fact that we were losing a business. Private property developers are certain it won’t stay vacant,” Dauber added. “There are no identified party yet, but it’s just a matter of time before it’s filled.”

Representatives from Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart, did not respond to media requests.

“We’re not able to say anything at this time,” said a Marietta Kmart representative.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

• Marietta Kmart will be closed by mid-February.

• U-Haul representatives went before the city’s planning commission to inquire about rezoning the property.

• U-Haul had been interested in purchasing the building.

• The planning commission unanimously rejected the request.

• Going out of business sales are expected to begin Dec. 2.

Source: Times research.

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