Kmart site redevelopment planned

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published January 30, 2018

ROCHESTER HILLS — Plans are progressing to develop the vacant portion of the Winchester District shopping center, located at the southwest corner of Rochester and Avon roads.

Developers Rochester KM Partners LLC aim to update the site of the former Kmart store, adding an Art Van Furniture store and two new outbuildings, and relocating the existing Burger King restaurant.

An Aldi grocery store is planned for one of the outbuildings, along with an additional restaurant. Spaces to park bikes and internal sidewalks will be added, along with trees and green space areas.

“This was perhaps one of the most asked questions I’ve had over the past year and a half,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said. “What is coming to Kmart?”

Barnett said a flagship Art Van Furniture store will be located in part of the old Kmart building, and the parking lot will be redesigned.

“The (current) parking lot is a giant sea of asphalt. It will be broken up, and there will be several paths for opportunity here,” he said.

By a unanimous vote Jan. 22, the Rochester Hills City Council approved a conditional use permit to relocate the Burger King.

“The first step is moving the Burger King,” Barnett said.

“This is a beautiful work of art here,” City Councilwoman Susan Bowyer said about the redevelopment plans. “After looking at the empty Kmart and that parking lot for so long, this is a great plan.”

“To see development now after seeing an empty Kmart store for so many years is very welcome,” City Councilman Ryan Deel said.

Barnett said KM Partners LLC developer Craig Singer recently received an award from the city for allowing the Rochester Hills Fire Department to use the empty Kmart building for training.

“They have been wonderfully generous in allowing our teams to get in there,” Barnett said.

“We look forward to seeing development there finally,” Barnett said. “Breathing some life into that corner.”