No closing date was announced for the store, but Mayor Dave Heilmann said the store would likely close by May 31.
It is the first store in the Southland to be designated for closing since Sears Holdings Corp. announce last year that it would close between 100 and 120 underperforming stores.
Kmart also operates a store at 4101 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn, which will remain open. A Kmart store typically employs 40 to 80 workers.
Sears Holdings, which posted a $2.4 billion fourth quarter loss on Thursday, also said it would sell off its outlet store division—including a store that recently opened in Tinley Park and a store in Bridgeview—and certain hardware stores. There are standalone Sears Hardware stores in Orland Park and Alsip.
This is the second big box store to close in Oak Lawn since Christmas. The Dominick’s supermarket at 8700 S. Cicero Ave. closed on Jan. 1.
The Kmart property has been the center of lawsuit between Sears Holdings and the Village of Oak Lawn. In 2006, Sears Holdings sued the village when the property was included in a TIF district. Sears leased the Kmart parcel from J.C. Penney, which owned the land. That purchase was finalized in November.
In May 2011, the village purchased the land—including the Kmart property—at 111th and Cicero from J.C. Penney for $10.9 million. The village has eyed the underperforming corner for a new retail development rivaling Orland Square.
On Friday, the village and Sears Holdings announced a comprehensive agreement to purchase Sears’ leasehold rights, ending the 5-year court battle “in an amicable manner.”
Although up to 80 workers’ jobs will be affected,
Oak Lawn will gain full control of the land parcel also by May 31. The negotiations do not affect Oak Lawn’s other Kmart store at 95th Street and Pulaski Road, but the deal still isn’t completely inked.
“It’s finalized, but the actual dismissal has not happened yet,” Heilmann said, “that’s a 10-minute hearing.”
The mayor said an agreement with the developer is forthcoming in the next 60 days. The village also hopes to obtain a letter of intent from a prospective anchor store over the next two months. Residents won’t see any movement on the site until 2014.
A retailer has already expressed interest in anchoring the prospective developement, but Heilmann said he wasn’t allowed to disclose the prospective retailer.
“I don’t know how many are familiar with the store that’s expressed interest,” the mayor said.
Although up to 80 people’s jobs will be affected at the Cicero Avenue and 110th Street Kmart store, Heilmann said it was all for the best.
“We’ll be making much better use of the property through the development and providing quite a few more jobs.”