Plans in works for former Kmart

·1 min read

Oct. 13—The long-vacant former Kmart building along South U.S. 41 in Terre Haute is getting an occupant, perhaps Hobby Lobby.

The former Kmart, 4461 S. U.S. 41, is owned by The Teachers Retirement System of Kentucky. It filed building plans to the state's Department of Homeland Security on Sept. 27 to remodel the 166,314 square foot building.

The name of the project is listed as "Hobby Lobby Vanilla Box."

The current Hobby Lobby is across Third Street at 4700 S. U.S. 41.

Neither Hobby Lobby nor the Teachers Retirement System have said publicly said what Hobby Lobby intends to do, but it it appears Hobby Lobby would use slightly less than half of the existing space — 55,857 square feet of the total 166,314 square feet.

The Teachers Retirement System received its building permit Oct. 1 from the Vigo County Area Planning Department. The renovation project is valued at $6 million.

The Tribune-Star on Wednesday sought comment from Hobby Lobby, which has yet to get back to the newspaper. The Trib-Star earlier this month also contacted Stephen Pewitt, a representative of the teachers retirement system, who said he was unable to discuss the project.

The project's developer is the Blackstone Group LLC of Springfield, Illinois, with T&W Corporation of Indianapolis serving as the general contractor. The Tribune-Star is seeking comment from Blackstone Group.

Kmart pulled out of the building in April 2016. The store was shuttered as part of a closure plan through Sears Holdings Corp, which also closed several Sears stores in 2016.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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