Bomgaars looks at Austin

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, July 24, 2012

AUSTIN — The empty building left behind when Kmart closed in May 2010 may soon be opening its doors again. Family-owned, Sioux City, Iowa-based home improvement retailer Bomgaars has been looking at moving to Austin for several months, and the company has its sights set on that facility.

Craig Hoium, the city’s community development director, confirmed Monday that Bomgaars is interested. He said it likely could employ 25 to 30 people.

The Bomgaars website lists 60 retail stores, with locations in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming. The corporation employs about 1,400 people.

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Hoium said there is a need in the community for a store like Bomgaars, which sells agricultural, automotive and hardware supplies, along with clothing, footwear and toys.

“It’s similar to a downsized Mills Fleet Farm store,” Hoium said.

Bomgaars declined to comment for this report.

The company’s negotiations for the site have been taking place during the last three or four months.

Hoium said. If all goes according to plan, remodeling could take place in September and the store would be open for business in October.

The Austin Kmart, which had about 70 employees when it closed, opened there in 1991. The facility has been empty since May 2010 except for the west side, where JNP Motorsports opened in April.