Business

Trampoline park, Stuff Etc. moving into former Iowa City Kmart

Three occupants will take over the large retail space

A former KMart store in Iowa City is seen on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. The store will be converted into smaller commercial spaces for new occupants. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
A former KMart store in Iowa City is seen on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. The store will be converted into smaller commercial spaces for new occupants. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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Three occupants, including a trampoline park, will take over a former Kmart in Iowa City, filling a large commercial space made vacant when the store closed last year.

Iowa City-based Southgate Cos. sold the 97,000-square-foot building, 851 Highway 6 East, for $3.25 million Thursday, Southgate’s Director of Real Estate Operations Joe Hughes told The Gazette.

The building’s new owner plans to sell off part of the building and lease the rest, he said.

The new occupants will include consignment store Stuff Etc., a Planet 3 Extreme Air Park and Crowded Closet, the Iowa City thrift store and gift shop.

Kmart’s parent company, Sears Holdings, closed the Iowa City location in September 2017. It was the last Kmart in the Corridor.

The stores closure put a large amount of retail space on the market at a time when big-name stores are shuttering locations and leaving vacancies. Moananui Haretuku, the owner of Planet 3 Extreme Air Park, said that trend has helped his company find suitable locations for its trampoline parks. For example, Planet 3 is about to open a park in Muskegon, Mich., in a former Target store.

“In the past, a lot of these trampoline parks were forced to open in industrial parks, warehouse spaces and that sort. Now, with a lot of these big-ticket retailers going out of business, we’re finding a lot more prime real estate on heavy retail streets that we can build out and build one of our parks in,” Haretuku said.

The Planet 3 in Iowa City will take up about 25,000 square feet of the former Kmart building and employ between 30 and 40 people, he said. The company expects the park to open sometime in the last three months of this year, Haretuku said.

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Stuff Etc. will move its current Iowa City store, 1027 Highway 6, to the building and also occupy about 25,000 square feet, Marketing Director Jodi Hagerty said. The existing location is in the same retail center as the former Kmart and will remain open during the move.

The company expects its new location to be open in January.

Crowded Closet expects to move into the remainder of the Kmart space by early next year. The not-for-profit store, which supports the Mennonite Central Committee, will move from its current location at 1213 Gilbert Court.

“Crowded Closet has been looking at this for the last several years. Some of the driving factors are ... expanding the capacity that we have and also ... increasing the accessibility for donors and customers,” Executive Director Carey Miller said,

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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