Boardman Sears to close mid-July
By Kalea Hall
While Sears and Toys “R” Us stores prepare to close, the township has new retail development in the works and announcements coming soon.
Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Sears and Kmart stores, announced on Thursday it would close the Boardman location in mid-July.
All 735 U.S. Toys “R” Us Inc. stores are in the liquidation process, but official closing dates for the local stores, including Babies “R” Us, have yet to be set. Customers are able to use their Toys “R” Us gift cards through April 21.
The Sears liquidation sale will begin April 27. No other local stores will close.
“We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced,” a Sears company spokesman said. “This is not an effort solely aimed at cost savings but is part of a strategy we have been executing [because] many of our larger stores are too big for our needs.”
The number of employees affected by the closure was not released. Eligible employees will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.
Kmart locations in Boardman, Austintown, Warren, Howland and Hermitage have all been shuttered.
Meanwhile, Boardman has two ongoing development projects. The GetGo at the corner of Southern Boulevard and U.S. Route 224 is set to open this spring.
Down the road, the redevelopment of the plaza at the corner of Tiffany South Boulevard and Route 224 is nearing completion. The developer, CTW Development Corp. of Canfield, is in the final stage of the redevelopment with the building of a new stand-alone Dunkin’ Donuts that will have a drive-thru.
After the Boardman Kmart location on Route 224 was demolished in 2017, the property owner, ASI Family Partnership LLC, started to seek new tenants.
Dan Schiavone Sr., broker for the property, said the company will hopefully break ground sometime mid-summer on buildings that will be closer to Route 224. Schiavone could not say what tenants will be in those buildings.
“The majority of the property is still available, and we are still taking inquiries and offers,” he said.
Township Administrator Jason Loree expects to see “some major redevelopment” in 2019 and 2020 in Boardman, but he would not specify what the development will be.
“I think we are going to see developments and announcements over the spring and summer,” he said.
Loree wasn’t surprised by the pending closures of Sears and Toys “R” Us.
“You hate to see them go but at the same time it’s not hard to tell which places were struggling,” he said. “These are things that have been circulating over the past couple of years due to [businesses’] unwillingness to change their business model.”