Demolition begins at former Super Kmart in Madison Heights

Site will be location of first BJ’s Wholesale Club in Michigan

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published February 1, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — The long-shuttered Super Kmart at John R and 12 Mile roads in Madison Heights is finally being torn down, paving the way for the construction of a new members-only store similar to the Sam’s Club and Costco already in town.

Super Kmart closed in 2014 with seven years left on its lease. BJ’s Wholesale Club is replacing it. BJ’s is headquartered in Massachusetts, and the Madison Heights location will be the first in Michigan.

In addition to the warehouse, the project also includes a large gas station that will be built with a special use approval granted by the City Council. The applicant has also agreed to pay for cement work to redesign the right-turn lane from eastbound 12 Mile Road to southbound John R Road.  

There is also a proposed detached restaurant with a drive-thru, but no formal application of the final tenant/owner had been submitted at press time.  

The entire project, demolition included, is estimated to cost $33 million. The deal was not eligible for any tax incentives such as tax abatements. The project will likely take all of 2019 to finish, opening in 2020 and creating jobs for around 100 full-time workers and 100 part-time workers.

The demolition permit was pulled in December 2018, and the demolition started in mid-January. The site sits on roughly 40 acres. The former Super Kmart occupies nearly 143,000 square feet there, with more than 1,200 spaces for parking. BJ’s will occupy the same footprint as the Kmart.

Previously, the site had been formally listed with several listing agents and firms. The city helped market it, as well. It was also featured in Oakland County’s One Stop Ready Showcase Event, and marketing materials were distributed to local and national developers.

Melissa Marsh, the city manager of Madison Heights, said that the incoming business will breathe new life into the sizable chunk of real estate.

“The market drives what businesses we have in the city and at this major intersection. As a city we are excited to have this location redeveloped, and we welcome BJ’s Wholesale,” Marsh said.

“The dark store that has sat vacant for over four years was an eyesore to residents and visitors to Madison Heights,” she added. “We’re hopeful that this redevelopment will attract other commercial redevelopment projects.”

Linda Williams, the city’s economic and community engagement supervisor, agreed.

“We are excited to see this major commercial intersection of the city redeveloped,” Williams said. “And we hope that it will be the catalyst for many more commercial activities in the near future.”

For more information on BJ’s Wholesale Club, visit the official website at www.bjs.com.

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