Closed-down Kmart property a headache for city officials and law enforcement


EUREKA, Calif. - On July 7, Sears Holding Company, the owners of Kmart and Sears stores, announced that 35 Kmart stores across the nation were closing in early October. One of those locations was the Kmart on South Broadway in Eureka.

According to the Eureka Police Department (EPD), soon after closing, the property became a nuisance; reports of graffiti, vandalism, and trespassing became rampant for police.

Matt Morgan, the Eureka code enforcement officer, said although the property is vacant, Kmart's lease of the land does not end until July of next year, despite requests from the property owner to end the lease early.

"Kmart is refusing to end the lease early," Morgan said.

Morgan said the corporation has made it clear they have no plans to clean up trash and graffiti littering the building until the lease is over. He added that the building left unkempt and unregulated has led to it becoming a homeless encampment.

Morgan said the property owner hopes to find another business to lease the property soon, but so far he has not notified the city of any interested parties.