HILLSBORO — Rural King bought the old Hillsboro Kmart building on Thursday for $3.5 million, according to county records.
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.
Rural King, a farm goods store, 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.
A Rural King corporate representative said on Friday that the company would issue a statement on the sale later in the day.
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. While an Orscheln official said at the time that construction was paused because the company had several other projects in the works, 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 immediately returned.
That property is listed for sale.