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Advocate file photo by ELLYN COUVILLION - The Kmart store in Gonzales was one of more than 100 Kmarts to close nationally last year.

An abandoned Kmart store in Gonzales will be converted into a shopping center with tenants potentially including Ross Dress for Less, Marshall’s, Ulta Beauty and Five Below, plans submitted with the city show. 

Stirling Properties has proposed redeveloping the property at Airline Highway and Cornerview Street. The Kmart store closed in early 2017 as part of an ongoing series of shutdowns led by the chain’s financially troubled parent company, Sears Holdings.

While Ross, Marshalls, Ulta and Five Below have been listed as tenants on the documents submitted with the city and Gonzales officials have hailed their arrival on the city’s Facebook page, Ryan Pecot, of Stirling Properties, cautioned that no leases have been signed yet.

The goal is to start construction on the redevelopment before the end of the year, with the businesses opening by late summer/early fall.

While getting empty big-box stores back into commerce is often a difficult task, because of the size of the spaces and tenant agreements that prove to be encumbrances, Pecot said the redevelopment of the Kmart site was “pretty clean."

“It was more about getting the tenant costs and the rents to work,” he said.

Ross, Marshalls, Ulta and Five Below all have locations in Baton Rouge. “They saw enough demand from their shoppers in these Gonzales Zip codes to make them think this is a wise investment,” Pecot said. “These are all convenience-based tenants.”

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.