RIO GRANDE - Tractor Supply, a family entertainment venue operated by the owners of the Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor, a new veterans Community-Based Outpatient Clinic and numerous government offices, highlighted the plans for the “County Commons” in Rio Grande – a site that formerly accommodated the Kmart and Frank Theaters.
According to a county release, the project was presented by County Counsel Jeffrey Lindsay during the freeholders' meeting Oct. 8.
The presentation detailed how the project came together, the renovations being completed, and the tenants added since the county purchased the complex.
The process started approximately two years ago. After a search of the county for suitable locations for some of its offices, the county agreed to a lease-to-purchase agreement for a portion of the old Kmart.
The county subsequently learned that the previous owner of the property fell into bankruptcy and that the county had the opportunity to bid on the property at a bankruptcy auction.
Bidding at the auction started at $4.6 million and the county ultimately prevailed with a final bid of $5.75 million for a property appraised at $10.4 million.
“When county counsel told me we could buy the property and the financial terms would be more favorable than our lease-to-purchase agreement, the board decided we had to move on it,” stated Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton. “This is going to be a major revitalization project in Rio Grande that will attract other businesses and employment opportunities and will provide the county with additional room for our offices and staff.”
The facility will be a mixed public/private use. The confirmed commercial tenants include Tractor Supply, Rent-A-Center, and a family entertainment venue leased by the owners of the Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor, which will include a movie theater, bowling alley, arcade, restaurant, bar, and beer garden.
The entertainment venue will expand beyond the former Frank Theaters space to include the former Save-A-Lot, Rick’s Pizza and pharmacy.
The public uses for the complex include a veterans clinic, county Veterans Bureau, county Division of Aging and Disability Services, county Division of Social Services, county Division of Community and Behavioral Health and state/county One Stop Career Center.
The presentation highlighted that Tractor Supply, the family entertainment venue and the Veterans' Clinic will bring at least 50 new and permanent jobs to the county, which could increase up to 100 full and part-time jobs during the summer tourism season.
The presentation also highlighted the few remaining spaces available for interested commercial tenants.