Link for context, in case anyone was wondering: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/15/here-is-a-map-of-the-142-sears-and-kmart-stores-set-to-close.html
This has been inevitable for a long time, and I was actually kind of stunned that it wasn’t part of the previous round of closures. I’m in this parking lot occasionally because the batting cage I practice at is next to the KMart. I definitely do see people coming in and out, but nothing like the volume that would be needed to support a store of this space. The KMart usually has a few cars out in front, but otherwise the parking lot is a sea of asphalt.
First off, I do want to emphasize that I genuinely do feel sorry for the employees there who are losing their jobs. I hope they are all able to find new jobs very, very quickly, and I feel quite bad about taking any sort of pleasure in their employer going out business. (I also feel bad for the great folks who work at my batting cage, but I assume they will relocate to a new space and be just fine.)
That aside, this is great news for Raleigh. That’s a huge chunk of badly underutilized space that could be developed in one fell swoop and put to any one of a number of good uses. It’ll be interesting to see what ends up going in that space. I could honestly see retail/residential, office/residential, or office/retail working in that space, although at CX-5 it gets hard to do more than two of those things without a rezone.
What would be even cooler still is if the new development in that space could ignite some further development going north on Blue Ridge, where Blue Ridge 14 movie theater currently is. Residential development at the KMart site could help support retail right next door.