Rural King, a farm supply store, bought the old Hillsboro Kmart building on Thursday for $3.5 million, according to county officials.
Highland County Recorder Chad McConnaughey said the 17.5-acre property on North High Street changed hands from Kmart Corporation of Michigan to Rural King Realty, LLC, of Illinois, with a $10,500 conversion fee that went to the Highland County Auditor’s Office.
The building, located at 1249 N. High St., was formerly occupied by Kmart until the big-box store went out of business earlier this year. As previously reported, the Hillsboro store was one of 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores across the country that were scheduled to shut down in January 2018. Hillsboro was one of five Kmarts in Ohio on the closing list.
The building has sat vacant with old newspapers taped to the inside of its glass front doors since Kmart vacated the premises.
As previously reported, Rural King confirmed its interest in purchasing the building in November, but said its offers had been “repeatedly rejected” by the Kmart corporate office. Rural King often purchases and utilizes old Kmart facilities.
In a press release issued Friday, Rural King confirmed it had bought the building, and said that “while the future of this new building is still being decided, Rural King is optimistic about their new addition and very excited to be part of the community in Hillsboro.”
The company said more information will be released as it becomes available.
Rural King began in 1960 as a small, family-owned farm store in Mattoon, Ill., according to the release. Now, the company is one of the fastest growing family-owned companies in America and has added more than 110 stores in a 13-state area. All store locations carry a variety of products, such as livestock supplies, clothing, hardware, and compact RK tractors from 19-55HP at select locations, according to the release.
“Rural King is proud to provide all customers with the lowest prices every day, free coffee and popcorn in every store, and a friendly smile,” the release said.
Meanwhile, another farm implement store project appears to have halted completely on Harry Sauner Road.
Construction of an Orscheln Farm & Home store was put on hold in November as rumors swirled about Rural King purchasing the Kmart store, and while an Orscheln official said at the time that construction had paused because the company was busy with several other projects, some wondered if Kmart’s closing had affected Orscheln’s plans.
An Orscheln representative said on Friday she believed the project was “removed from the list,” and forwarded further questions to the store’s real estate office. A voicemail seeking comment was not returned on Friday.
That property is listed for sale.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.