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Old K-Mart building may get new life

K-Mart may have moved out years ago, but that doesn't mean the building near the corner of Washington and Harrison Roads has been dormant. In fact, the owners are looking to revitalize the property soon.

Chad Hammond, part-owner of the property, said that owners are currently looking for an anchor tenant as part of a possible long-term strategy to build a shopping center there. He added that no firm plans were in place yet.

"We are in discussions right now with two realtors about marketing the property, and we are going to see what interest there might be in it," Mr. Hammond said.

The action on the building came as a result of a study that was conducted to find out how the owners should go about redeveloping the property. One possible plan in place is to construct small units on the Harrison Road side of the property.

McDuffie County Planning Board Director Fred Guerrant described the plans he had heard discussed as a kind of "mini mall." He said that there were few other details available because no plans for construction had been filed.

"We're not going to make a determination about that until we see whether there would be interest in the sale of the property or until we have at least one anchor tenant identified," Mr. Hammond said.

With the close proximity to Wal-Mart and the other shops surrounding it, Mr. Guerrant said that a potential businesses moving in may have to meet certain specific needs.

"I would assume that it would have to be somewhat highly specialized retail services," he said.

Several businesses have expressed interest in renting space in the building. One large business showed interest, but according to Mr. Hammond the facilities did not meet its needs.

"It was a franchise tenant, and his franchise had kind of unique specifications," Mr. Hammond said. "And we just couldn't make the numbers work."

Currently the East Central Georgia Consortium offices are housed in the former K-Mart building. The consortium endeavors to improve working conditions and help find jobs for the unemployed.

"They are in place out there, but we do not have any other tenants in place yet," Mr. Hammond said.

Before the East Central Georgia Consortium moved in, the building housed a branch of St. Joseph's home health care.

Web posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004

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