MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Following a fire that expedited its timeline for demolition, a shuttered Kmart along Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue is finally being torn down.
On Tuesday morning, construction crews began demolition on the Kmart building that was built in 1978, but has been mostly vacant since closing in May 2020 after civil unrest stemming from George Floyd’s death. The location then became a temporary post office in November of that year.
Minneapolis agreed to pay $9.1 million to buy out Kmart's lease and proceed with plans to demolish the building. Plans were initially in place for the city to tear down the building in the spring, but a fire last month expedited them.
City workers completed a partial demolition of unstable walls within the former Kmart building immediately following the fire – a process that was initially set to begin in 2024.
On Oct. 10, city staff hosted an open house to get feedback on the Nicollet Redevelopment Project, which would demolish the Kmart building that has cut Nicollet Avenue in two for more than four decades, and reconnect the popular thoroughfare with Lake Street, along with housing, retail, and public spaces.
The New Nicollet Redevelopment Project remains on track and staff are currently gathering feedback from community members on new roadway and public space design concepts, according to city officials.