By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press
WAYNESBORO — Rumors of Amazon purchasing the former Kmart on Route 250 are still just that: rumors.
“That’s a very interesting rumor,” said Waynesboro’s Director of Economic Development and Tourism Greg Hitchin. “I cannot say if that’s true or false.”
According to Hitchin, definite plans are not yet in place for the 92,000 square-foot building near Sharp Shopper and the intersection of Lew DeWitt Boulevard and Route 250.
The Kmart closed the last week of December 2018, just as many Kmart stores closed across the U.S.
Hitchin said that the building is being cleaned right now, old retail fixtures removed and signs taken down, all activity that would normally happen when a store closes.
The former Rite Aid at the intersection of Rosser Avenue and Main Street became a Walgreens in the spring, but now that the Walgreen is closing Hitchin said that building is also being cleaned, and fixtures and signs removed.
The former Kmart building remaining empty for almost two years “is unfortunate but not unusual,” Hitchin said.
He added that the former Kroger on Lew DeWitt Boulevard has been closed longer than two years.
“While we would love to have someone move into this vacant building [the former Kmart],” Hitchin said the right business would need the proper permits from the city of Waynesboro.
And the Economic Development and Tourism Department would make a formal announcement when an official buyer purchased the building.