Former Macon Road Kmart building has a new tenant

A large retail space on Macon Road formerly occupied by Kmart will soon have a new occupant, according to Midtown Columbus.

Julio Portillo, executive director of MidTown Inc., confirmed Monday that Roses Discount Store will be moving in to the space in the Midtown Shopping Center.

Bitsy Dedwylder, MidTown Business Association coordinator, said the store is scheduled to open by the end of the year.

“Our residents have missed having a discount department store nearby with the huge assortment of retail items located under one roof,” Dedwylder said. “It’s great news for Midtown commercial development. We are grateful to Richard Waddell and his group, MidTown Associates. Their shopping center is a great draw to the area.”

Dedwylder said the store will occupy almost half of the remaining space in the building, which is now partially occupied by a new AutoZone store.

The company that owns Roses, Variety Wholesalers, Inc., also operates stores under the banners of Roses Express, Maxway, Super 10, Bargain Town, Bill’s Dollar Store and Super Dollar, according to the retailer’s website.

Variety Wholesalers operates nearly 400 stores throughout the southeast, the website states. Currently there is a Bargain Town in Columbus on Francis Street and another off the Hwy. 280 bypass in Phenix City.

The building on 3200 Macon Road has sat vacant since Kmart left the scene in March 2017, and Columbus residents have been wondering since then what business would fill the space, speculating everything from family fun centers to fitness chains.

It’s a common problem, with communities all over the country struggling to fill the gaping holes left by defunct big box stores like Kmart and Sears. A Colorado-based company announced last year it would be creating 600 jobs by placing a new call center in an former 46,000 square-foot Winn-Dixie supermarket in Columbus.