WAITE PARK -- The first step for renovating the former Kmart building has begun.

During tonight’s (Tuesday) Waite Park Planning Commission meeting the board approved the height variance for the stores façade, which will now be brought to the city council.

Plans have the building occupied by three tenants which includes a 28,000 square foot grocery store chain, a 6,900 square foot retail center and what is believed to be 52,000 square foot Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

The names of the three stores have not yet been officially announced. A lease agreement still needs to be signed with the property owner before anything can happen.

Continental Properties is the developer of the building. The Wisconsin based developer renovates large retail stores into multiple smaller stores across the United States.

Developer Associate Joe Berkhahn says they hope to have the lease agreement signed and make an official announcement of the occupants by September. Construction would then begin by November.

A fourth small retail store is also being considered. It would sit towards the front parking lot, but be built at a later time.

If all goes well the stores will be open a year after construction. The Kmart store closed back in December.


Proposed blueprints for the former Kmart building renovation. (Photo: Continental Properties)