The Kmart building
at 750 Indian Boundary Road does not appear to be slated for demolition,
when it closes for good on March 26.
But Chesterton Town
Manager Bernie Doyle was unwilling to be any more definitive than that, when
reporting to the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.
That’s because it’s
not altogether clear who or what actually owns the building, Doyle told the
Chesterton Tribune after the meeting.
The owner of
record, according to the Porter County Recorder’s searchable webpage, is US
Realty 87 Chesterton Associates, with an address of 3333 Beverly Road,
Hoffman Estates, Ill. That, however, is also the address of the corporate
headquarters of the Sears Holding Corporation, the owner of both Sears and
But, according to
the Indiana Secretary of State’s searchable webpage, US Realty 87 Chesterton
Associates also has a registered address in Morristown, N.J., leading Doyle
to conclude that, “at the end of the day,” the actual owner of the Kmart
property is a New Jersey group which has been leasing it to Sears Holding
under a “triple net lease” agreement.
Under a triple net
lease, the tenant or lessee of the property is responsible for the
property’s ongoing expenses, including property taxes, insurance, and
Still, Doyle said,
it’s hard to be certain because “it’s so layered.”
In any case, Doyle
added, it’s his impression that the property’s owner currently intends to
lease it again after Kmart is out.
Kmart opened in 1981, the same year in which the company’s 200th store
opened. On Jan. 4, Sears Holding announced the closure of 78 Kmart
stores--including the Chesterton one-- as well as 26 Sears stores around the