A plan for Runnings to renovate the old Kmart building in Mitchell, where the retail store is set to relocate, was given the green light by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday.
The work entails reroofing the 94,881 square-foot building, along with installing new flooring and repainting the interior. Although Runnings purchased its current building located at 1400 S. Burr St. roughly a year ago, the Minnesota-based farm and outdoor retailer recently purchased the former Kmart building that sits directly across the street to expand the sporting goods store. The property was previously owned by GFI Mitchell Investments, a Utah-based holding company.
“It will really help us expand everything that you come to shop for at Runnings,” said Dennis Jensen, Runnings director of marketing operations. “We’re excited to open at this location to meet the customer demands.”
With the move to 1313 S. Burr St., Runnings will add roughly 20,000 square feet to their Mitchell store. The building was Mitchell’s largest available commercial property at the time of the sale. Jensen said the new location will allow the retailer to expand their products, which consists of home, farm and outdoor sporting goods, along with footwear, clothing and pet supplies. A timeline of the location change has not yet been announced.
Considering the building has sat empty since Kmart closed in 2016, there are some areas in need of major improvements, including the roof and flooring. Chad Weyh, Runnings construction and maintenance manager, plans to begin working on the roof portion of the project as early as March, weather permitting.
“We want to try and de-Kmartize it and make it fit our vision of the Runnings stores. We are going to be adding a canopy on the front of the building that will sit 16 feet out from the east side of the building,” Weyh said, noting the canopy will provide coverage for the outdoor equipment sold at the store. “We will be removing all the flooring and do a concrete polishing. We will also put in a new ceiling tile and take out all the water-stained tiles.”
On the south side of the building, Weyh said new loading docks will be constructed to help receive inventory from freight haulers. In addition, the interior renovation plans include bathroom improvements and updating the doors throughout the property.
For the parking lot, Weyh said the retailer plans to complete an overlay project and add new light poles. The parking lot consists of roughly 300 spaces.
“We will go with a mill and overlay for pretty much the entire parking lot, along with new LED light poles,” Weyh said. “We did discuss landscaping needs, and we plan to clean up the trees that are currently around the area. And we may submit another plan for more landscaping projects in the future.”
Another phase of the plan includes adding pavement along the south side of the building that’s currently a patch of grass. However, to do so, Runnings has to purchase some of the land next to the grassy area that’s owned by First Dakota National Bank.
The bank is set to transfer the plat of land where the pavement will be installed to the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, which will then set up Runnings to acquire the small piece of land.
“We want to extend that paved area to where the loading docks will be to give the semi trailers a better shot at backing into the loading docks,” Weyh said.