Kohl’s backs out of construction

GREENFIELD — Plans to open a Kohl’s store in Greenfield are officially off.

City planner Joanie Fitzwater told the city’s board of works Tuesday the retailer doesn’t believe Greenfield-area shoppers could support the store. Kohl’s now plans to sell its lot just north of Home Depot near the Interstate 70 exit.

She asked members to approve its subdivision agreement to give the developer time to sell.

Plans to build a 55,000-square-foot store were unveiled in 2011. The project was touted as a major development in the city’s retail scene, and the business was expected to open in 2012.

In 2013, the store asked for an extension of its subdivision agreement and moved its construction date to spring of this year. Kohl’s never formally announced the plans but told Fitzwater at the time Greenfield was on its construction list.

It would have filled a void in clothing retail in Greenfield, where the only clothing stores besides secondhand shops and big box outlets are Maurices and Goody’s.

But Kohl’s officials have re-evaluated the plan to bring the store to Greenfield, telling Fitzwater there isn’t a large enough local market to support the store.

It’s disappointing, Fitzwater said, adding she hopes another retailer will purchase the land.

“I’m hoping Kohl’s can find something similar to anchor there,” Fitzwater said. “People are interested in having somewhere to shop like that locally.”

Mayor Chuck Fewell echoed Fitzwater’s comments, saying the land is an attractive place to build.

“We’re disappointed that they chose not to be here; however, … I am glad they are going to put it up for sale,” he said.

Greenfield resident Mary Sturm said she was surprised Kohl’s wasn’t coming to the area after hearing for years that it would be opening.

“I would have shopped there,” Sturm said. “Now I guess I’ll have to go to another one.”

She wasn’t the only area resident disappointed that the business has decided not to open a local store.

Greenfield resident Julie Borden said she was looking forward to having a local option for shopping for clothing and housewares.

“I have a gift card to Kohl’s burning a hole in my pocket right now,” she said.

Officials for Kohl’s could not be reached for comment Tuesday.