In the past several months, things have changed, and it now looks likely that Home Depot will be going in on the property that the old Kmart is on, on Hampshire Road. Home Depot wants to remove the existing structure, and rebuild a store that is smaller than a “normal” Home Depot, but still retains a garden center and full product line. The new store would be 6500 sq. ft. smaller than the previous tenants (Kmart and the retail stores).
The old Kmart property is at 325 Hampshire Road, just southwest of the 101 Freeway on Hampshire. Reportedly, Home Depot purchased the rights to a number of Kmart locations through a bulk transaction that it did with Sears when they took over Kmart.
The property is actually owned not by Home Depot, but by Horowitz Investments of Los Angeles. When Home Depot bought the lease from Kmart/Sears, a new lease was negotiated. There’s approximately 23 years left on that lease.
There had been a rumor that this property would become an Expo, but this was always baseless. In fact, Home Depot has closed 1/3 of the Expo’s around the country starting 1-2 years ago, and announced a long while back that they would not be opening up any more Expo stores.
Home Depot is proposing a 95,000 sq. ft. store plus a 15,000 sq. ft. Garden Center. Home Depot’s “normal” project is 110,000 to 125,000 sq. ft, plus a Garden Center. But, the Hampshire Road property will not support this size, hence the reduced size project. (As a frame of reference, the Newbury Park Home Depot is 125,000 sq. ft. with a 25,000 sq. ft. Garden Center.)
According to Home Depot, the resulting store will be 6500 sq. ft. SMALLER than the previous tenants of the parcel.
The City of Thousand Oaks planning commission will likely hear the matter in late-April or early-May. Home Depot is seeking to tear down all of the existing buildings (the old Kmart and adjoining 10,000 sq ft of old retail, but not the Shell Station or the Burger King which are not part of that parcel). Assuming the proposal is ready to go to the City Council, that would likely happen 4-6 weeks after the planning commission action. In the past couple of months, the Thousand Oaks mayor and other city council members have already expressed support for Home Depot.
While Home Depot has not determined what would be reduced to get to the smaller size store, it appears the most likely scenario is to scale back on the volume of products stocked for contractors. For example, there would be lumber of a variety of types, but not the volume available that a contractor looking to build a house would go to this store for. They would need to go to Newbury Park for that.
The City of TO is looking to “ensure good architectural design, adequate traffic flow and parking, good landscaping, etc…” Once the building is torn down, Home Depot proposes to regrade the entire property, from the center line back, down about 4 feet. According to the city, this will make for “a better looking and [more] functional project.”
Home Depot tells us that they’ve “already started to reach out to the neighbors, and have documented hundreds of neighbors, including those who live adjacent to the site, who are excited about the prospect of a Home Depot coming to their neighborhood.”
More information from Home Depot is available at www.homedepot4to.com