Runnings to open next springPublished 10:44am Friday, September 20, 2013
Runnings, the home improvement store that owns the old Kmart building near 18th Avenue Northwest, will likely open next spring.
Runnings officials said Friday morning the company resolved its stalemate with Kmart/Sears Holding Co., whose lease of the property lasted through November 2016. Runnings is putting together a renovation plan to get the store up and running in a few months, according to Dennis Jensen, Runnings director of marketing.
“We’re very eager to open up a new store in the Austin market,” he said. “We’re going to proceed toward that goal as quick as we can.”
The store will have more than 50 full- and part-time employees, though Jensen said the company doesn’t have an exact employee count yet.
Runnings purchased the building, at 1400 18th Ave. NW behind Applebee’s, in September 2012 for $3 million.
Runnings, founded by Norman Running in 1947 as an automotive supply store, now sells everything from farm equipment to sporting goods. The company has 31 stores throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana, according to its website, and employs more than 1,000 people.
In July 2012, Sioux City-based Bomgaars expressed interest in buying or leasing the building. The Port Authority considered the retailer’s request for a $150,000 loan until Runnings stepped in and bought the building without a subsidy from the city. The building has been empty since Kmart closed in May 2010.
—Adam Harringa contributed to this report.