New tenant? (copy)

The building owner and new tenants for the former Herberger's space plan to spend $5.25 million to remodel the structure, not including the costs to an expected third tenant. 

KEARNEY — A mountain of cash is going into subdividing the former Herberger’s store at Hilltop Mall into spaces for three separate businesses.

According to building permits issued by the city of Kearney, the Herberger’s building owner, Michael Perkins Properties of Omaha, and two tenants, Kohl’s Department Store and Planet Fitness, are pouring a total of $5.25 million into gutting and remodeling the 87,384-square-foot structure. The $5.25 million figure doesn’t include the remodeling costs of what is expected will be a third tenant.

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Here’s the demolition and remodeling breakdown:

- Planet Fitness: $750,000

- Michael Perkins Properties: $2,100,000

- Kohl’s: $2,400,000

- Total: $5,250,000

The Herberger’s building has stood vacant since the department store closed in April 2018 when its parent, BonTon, liquidated and declared bankruptcy.

Remodeling and reopening a business such as Kohl’s will boost employment in the Kearney area, according to the Ohio architect in charge of the department store makeover.

Kohl’s will employ about 100 people, said Jennifer Rolfe of Richard L. Bowen + Associates in Cleveland.

“We are renovating it to put in a new Kohl’s store,” Rolfe said about her firm’s involvement with the project. “It will be rebranded. There will be new signage outside and inside, and there should be a couple of other tenants.”

Rolfe acknowledged Planet Fitness will occupy the south end of the former Herberger’s building and that members will enter from the southwest. The main Kohl’s entry on the west side will be repainted, but there won’t be much change with the second entrance on the east side, she said.

Rolfe said she wasn’t aware what business would fill the third spot in the former Herberger’s building.

Kohl’s will occupy 47,446 square feet, and Planet Fitness will fill 15,726, according to building permits. That would leave 24,212 square feet for a third tenant. That much space is about 10 percent more than the Ross Dress for Less store that’s having its grand opening Saturday.

Ross is one of the four tenents in what used to be Kearney’s 92,000-square-foot Kmart building.

The other three tenants are Marshalls, Pet Smart and Five Below.