New owner of former Kmart in Marshall plans to bring ‘dynamic’ retailers

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The former Kmart in Marshall, the last such store in Michigan before it closed last fall, is under new ownership.

B. Riley Real Estate, part of B. Riley Financial based on Los Angeles, said it bought the 86,479-square-foot space. The building at Marshall Plaza on West Michigan Avenue was home to the last Kmart in the state. But it permanently shuttered in November, following a trend of Kmart closings across the country.

The purchase price was not released.

B. Riley Real Estate said it planned to work closely with the city to redevelop the former Kmart “to bring a group of new, dynamic national retail tenants into the Marshall market, only enhancing the strength of Marshall Plaza.” The company did not name specific retailers in its announcement.

“The redevelopment of Marshall Plaza is the ideal initial acquisition for our Opportunistic/Value-Add Acquisitions Platform,” said Michael Jerbich, president of B. Riley Real Estate, in a statement. “As the last Kmart location closed when the retailer exited the Michigan market, this store was a strong retail performer. The strength of the existing center coupled with the future growth of the Marshall market, including the planned Megasite development initiative, makes this a compelling investment opportunity. With considerable national retailer interest and a strong working relationship with the City of Marshall and its Economic Development Alliance, B. Riley Real Estate is excited to reimagine Marshall Plaza and bring new retail options into the community.”

After learning that the former Kmart was set to close, News Channel 3 contacted Kmart’s corporate owner, Transformco, based in Hoffman Estate, Illinois, but did not hear back.

Michigan is the birthplace of Kmart. In 1899, Sebastian Kresge opened a store in downtown Detroit offering low-priced items, according to Transformco’s website. Kresge expanded to 85 stores in 1912. The S.S. Kresge Company opened its first Kmart store in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan.

Kmart had 2,1,71 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam as of January 2000, according to records from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kmart and Sears merged as Sears Holdings Corporation in 2005. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, Sears Holding Corporation’s assets were acquired by Transformco.

Kmart’s closure in Marshall came less than four years after the Kmart on Capital Avenue in Battle Creek closed. The Sears at Lakeview Square Mall in Battle Creek later closed as well.

Today, only a handful of Kmart stores remain across several states and U.S. territories, according to Kmart’s website.





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