KEARNEY — Could the vacant Herberger’s building at Kearney’s Hilltop Mall soon have a second tenant?
Among the building permits filed at Kearney City Hall is one issued to an architecture firm working for Kohl’s Department Store.
A city staffer said today the Kohl’s permit is among a number of permits filed for 4915 Second Ave., the address of the property occupied by Herberger’s until it closed in April 2018. The closure was part of its parent corporation’s liquidation and bankruptcy.
Since then the Herberger’s building has been vacant, although there’s been frequent construction activity at the building. On Sept. 11, a new tenant, Planet Fitness, confirmed it would open its business in November in the south part of the building.
The former Herberger’s structure is owned by Michael Perkins Properties in Omaha. Multiple attempts to contact the owner have been unsuccessful, including an attempt today.
If Kohl’s is planning to open a store in Kearney, it will have plenty of space to occupy. The former Herberger’s property spans 87,384 square feet, and Planet Fitness will occupy only 15,000 square feet, according to District Manager Mike Gillen.
The Herberger’s building would become the second large retail space to be subdivided in Kearney, if additional tenants set up shop in the large structure.
Currently, three retailers new to Kearney — Marshalls, Pet Smart and Five Below — occupy slots in the 100,000-square-foot former Kmart building at 4700 Second Ave. A fourth retailer, Ross Dress for Less, has plans to open soon in the subdivided Kmart building, owned by Seritage investments of New York City.
Regarding the Kohl’s permit, city staff confirmed the company has filed a building permit but would not grant access to the permit.
According to its website, Kohl’s is a department store chain operated by Kohl’s Corp. with 1,158 locations. The company was founded by Polish immigrant Maxwell Kohl, who opened a corner grocery store in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1927.