Local Businessmen Transform Old Kmart

The old Kmart store, located at 1550 Celina Road in St. Marys, has been bought by two local businessmen and transformed into a warehouse.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Managing Editor

Two local businessmen had a need for additional warehousing space and the City of St. Marys had a need to fill a dilapidated area on Celina Road.

Jason Clark and Andy Slone — who are actually brother-in-laws — own a 10,000 square foot warehouse on McKinley Road for their business, American Manufacturing Solutions, and was in need of more warehouse space. On the flip side, the city was looking to demolish the former Kmart store at 1550 Celina Road and was in the process of gathering bids for the project when Cark and Slone reached out.

“[The warehouse on McKinley Road] got us started in the warehousing business and as we got more into it, we found there was more of a need then what we thought,” Clark said. “So we started looking and found out that everyone was going out of town so we thought there was an opportunity for us if we could find something.

“The need for the space was what started it. This had some substantial size to it that met our needs. We presented it to the city and they have helped us out a lot.”

Once the city helped on its part, it has been up to Clark and Slone to do the rest.

A contract agreement between Clark and Slone and the city stated, “Buyer agrees to rehabilitate the old Kmart building including but not limited to reconstruction of the north side of said building (facing state Route 703/Jackson St.), upgrade of the electrical systems, eliminating all current plate glass windows and replacing the entire front of the building with steel siding.”

Clark said he thought the demo and cleanup portion would take three to six months. However, in just 110 days, much of the “odds and ends” left from other tenants is cleared out, the roof has been fixed, a wall has been taken out to open additional floor space and the outside of the building is almost complete. 

Currently, the inside of the warehouse is full of car rims stacked several feet high to serve local automobile manufactures.

“We bring things in, then we sort, inventory and perform quality checks,” he said. “We do a lot more than warehousing and we will expand on that more as we grow.”

Clark said he thinks in the next three months, the business will be ready to go once they get the logistics down. Clark also said they bought a semitrailer quicker than they expected and they will continue to focus on their plan.

Clark said that when everything is done, the investment he and Slone have made will be “substantial.”

“We are really looking forward to cleaning up the area,” Clark said. “I think this is a neat thing for this area and this parking lot for this side of town. I think it is neat to have a transformation and let other people see it. Once we get this warehouse cleaned and other lots are added in the parking lot, what is this place going to look like? It just proves a point that everything can be re-purposed, it is just a matter of having that vision and taking advantage of that opportunity.”

To read for full story, see Friday's print edition of The Evening Leader.

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