Cedar Rapids Kmart Location to Close in December

By George Ford, Reporter

The Kmart across from Lindale Mall is shown on Wednesday, September, 18, 2013 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Also, the Iowa Department of Administrative Services confirmed it is exploring alternatives for the Iowa Department of Transportation’s driver’s license station in the plaza, across from Lindale Mall.

Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings, owner of Kmart, said the store will begin a liquidation sale on Sept. 29. Riefs said the store, which employs 56, will close after its lease was not renewed by RCG Ventures in Atlanta, Ga., owner of the shopping center.

“As a part of the ordinary course of business, we close stores for a variety of reasons,” Riefs wrote in an email. “The store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model.”

Riefs said the store’s employees will have the opportunity to apply for positions at other Kmart and Sears stores.

Sears Holdings closed its Kmart at 2727 16th Ave. SW last year. That store was built in 1969.

The closing of the Collins Road Kmart appears to be connected to redevelopment of the 146,167-square-foot retail complex.

Erin Rabe of RCG Ventures confirmed the company has plans for the shopping center, but he was not able to comment due to confidentiality agreements with potential retail tenants.

Meanwhile, Annette Dunn of the Department of Transportation, said the agency’s lease for the 7,000-square-foot space where the Department of Transportation’s driver’s license station is located will expire Dec. 31.

It has been asked to consider another location within the complex, Dunn said.

“The owner of the center has another retail tenant that wants our existing space,” she said. “Although our lease expires at the end of the year, we have been offered an extension through the end of January.

“We are looking at our alternatives, including relocating the driver’s license station. We need a location that will allow us to continue to handle (commercial driver’s license) examinations, which requires safe access for large trucks, as well as motorcycle operator testing.”

Dunn said her agency hopes to make a final decision within 30 days, noting that any relocation will require a construction period before the station can be moved.

The DOT driver’s license station moved to the Kmart plaza in 1994, combining two previous locations in Cedar Rapids and Marion.

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