By Jesse Wood
Feb. 25, 2015. Boone Planning & Inspections Director Bill Bailey said he expects to receive a permit application from Harris Teeter for the vacant Kmart shopping center on Blowing Rock road.
Kmart closed down last September as a group of developers purchased the property for $6,975,000 earlier that summer.
Equity Resource Partners III LLC of Georgia, Granite Falls Land & Investment of North Carolina, Watson Commercial Development Inc. of North Carolina and Robert Carroll Carver of North Carolina purchased the property.
The three former companies list either Ron Turner Jr. of Davidson-based Piedmont Land Development or Jeff Watson of Piedmont Land Development as registered agents on corporation forms filed with the N.C. Secretary of State. Both Watson and Turner have declined to comment multiple times in the past months.
Several weeks ago, Bailey said that Harris Teeter had an option on the property with Publix Super Markets being a “good possibility” if Harris Teeter were to let its option expire.
Bailey also said with some uncertainty that the developers that purchased the old Kmart property are also working on buying the Ride With Pride car wash and the High Country Host Visitors Center building – the latter being owned by the N.C. Department of Transportation – to reroute Pride Drive.
While Bailey said he doesn’t have any idea where the car wash would move, he said that the visitor’s center could possibly re-locate inside the Harris Teeter building or move somewhere else.
Lately, High Country Host has been in talks with Appalachian Ski Mtn. about operating its proposed visitor center to be located along U.S. 321 just before entering Blowing Rock.
As it stands right now, Bailey said that the plans seem to call for just a Harris Teeter building and a gas station.
“But the property is too valuable to sit there vacant, so I imagine we’ll see some changes,” Bailey said, referring to some of the other parcels and areas where the prospective Harris Teeter and its parking lot wouldn’t be utilized.
As for what would take Harris Teeter’s place in the Shadowline Shopping Center, Bailey said that he’s talked with Dick’s Sporting Goods, which he said didn’t seem interested in the location. He also plans to touch base with some other sporting goods stores such as Sports Authority.
“[Now] I am trying to work on getting in contact with Trader Joe’s,” Bailey said.