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Grass Valley Kmart set to close, Target to move in

Kmart’s Grass Valley location will be closing around Dec. 19, an employee of the store said Monday.

The store, at 111 West McKnight Way, is a part of the McKnight Crossing Shopping Center, which is managed by Mesa Management.

Grass Valley Community Development Director Tom Last said Monday that the shopping center’s property managers spoke with him that morning, confirming that a Target store will be taking over the space.

“We just got everything confirmed today,” said Last, although noting that it had been known for some time that Kmart would be leaving at some point, and that he “had a good idea” it would be a store similar to Target moving in.

Last said marketing research had indicated many years ago that there would be support for a Target store coming to Grass Valley.

A study commissioned by the city in 2012 to gauge the community’s shopping preferences concluded that Target ranked highest among participants’ most desired businesses for the area.

Last said preparation for a Target store to open in the McKnight Way retail space is planned to involve significant work on the building, including its facade, although no detailed plans on this had been submitted to the city as of Monday. He added that he has a meeting with Target scheduled for today.

On Oct. 6, three listings were posted for the Grass Valley Kmart on the company’s online employment opportunities page, each including the phrase “Store Closing” in its title.

The space remains listed on real estate provider JLL’s website, with its date available set to “Immediately,” as of Monday.


Grass Valley Mayor Ben Aguilar said Monday that, while Kmart has previously been one of the city’s biggest retailers, the local store has experienced an extended decline, with its sales tax revenue dropping over the years.

Aguilar says he grew up going to the store, and that in the 1980s, it carried a wide variety of products, as well as containing a restaurant at one point.

“It was very bustling store back in the day, and it really dramatically shifted into something very different over the years,” he said.

He said the arrival of a Target store could bring a “revitalization” to its commercial area, noting that many local residents currently travel to Auburn in order to go to Target.

On the effect the new store could have in Grass Valley, Aguilar said, “I think that it would dramatically help out, and fill a much needed gap.”

Kmart’s Grass Valley store is its last remaining location in the state.

The company’s store directory still lists two other California stores, in South Lake Tahoe and Freedom. However, Kmart’s parent company, Transformco, lists both of those locations as “For Lease” in its online property directory, while Grass Valley remains listed there as an “Operating Store,” as of Monday. The Tahoe Daily Tribune reported in June that the South Lake Tahoe store was anticipated to close in August.

The retail space that Kmart currently occupies had been listed around September 2020 on a leasing site as an “opportunity to acquire a long-term leasehold interest in a Kmart property. Cort Ensign, Mesa Management director of commercial property management, said at the time that he was not aware of anything “official” from Kmart regarding plans to close.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com

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