Former Kmart in Bluefield, W.Va.

BLUEFIELD — After being emptied of merchandise, a former Kmart store in Bluefield that was closed earlier this year is now up for sale.

A sign advertising the former department store location recently appeared outside the former Kmart property off East Cumberland Road near the intersection with U.S. Route 460. Kmart announced on May 4 that the Cumberland Road location was among several slated for closing.

Jim Spencer, director of community and economic development, said whether the current owner finds a tenant to fill the space or a new owner takes over the location, the city’s goal is to see a new enterprise or enterprises in the vacant space.

“That’s our goal, that’s our bottom line,” Spencer said.

Finding one tenant who wants the entire property could be difficult. Getting two or more entities to move into the former Kmart would be more feasible, he said.

“Finding one individual that needs 100,000 square feet of space could be hard,” Spencer added. “We stand ready to support the existing owner or help a new owner find tenants.”

A call to Plaza Associates, Inc., which is advertising the property, was not returned Monday. Spencer said he was unable to contact a representative of the property’s owner Monday, but the city has been communicating with the owner about once a month since the closing.

The Kmart started liquidating its merchandise on May 19 and closed its door by early August. Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Kmart, said when the closings were announced that store closures are part of a series of actions the company taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust its asset base, and accelerate the transformation of its business model. In January, the company announced that it was closing its Kmart in Claypool Hill,Va.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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