McDonald’s may be coming to former Kmart site

Hemet Planning Commission approves proposals for commercial developers

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The closed Kmart building and surrounding area at State Street and Stetson Avenue has been approved by the Hemet Planning Commission for development by several businesses including McDonald’s.

■ Matt McPherson Real Estate / Columnist

At last Tuesday’s Hemet Planning Commission meeting some details were revealed about the property located at the northwest corner of State Street and Stetson Avenue in south Hemet. Currently, a Starbucks, Subway, doughnut shop, and Chinese restaurant stay busy at the corner of the property, but the 7.64-acre lot to the rear has remained vacant since Kmart closed its doors in 2014.
Three applications have been submitted to the Hemet Planning Commission for approval. The first is a request to subdivide the 7.64 acres into three commercial parcels ranging from 0.46-to-6.68 acres.
The second application was a conditional use permit (CUP), which requests converting the 82,020-square-foot retail building into a maximum of seven spaces ranging in size from 1,280-to-55,000 square feet.

McDonald’s to build prototype
The third application also was a CUP for the construction and operation of a 4,400-square foot, 24-hour, dual drive-thru McDonald’s restaurant. McDonald’s representative Karol Kendrick explained that the McDonald’s would be a new prototype that the corporation has decided to try on this area’s demographic population.
To the east of the Stetson entrance, another parcel is being developed for a drive-thru, although no tenant has been secured yet. Local developer John Petty is the project director and says his firm has a few potential tenants on the hook, but hasn’t solidified those tenants yet. Some rumors have circulated that possibly an Autozone or an ALDI may be coming to that location, but it’s all just speculation at this point.
Petty continued to explain that the property will have enhanced landscaping at the entrance and throughout the property. Once the presentations by both Kendrick and Petty were heard, signage was the only issue. The proposed sign would be 40-feet tall on pylons with the individual sign no larger than 8 feet. Kendrick made her recommendation to the Planning Commission members and they all approved the project.

Moving forward
Clearly, the planning commission is implementing policy, as it should, and is closely working with the owner and developer to bring this long-awaited project to the community. The city required 365 parking spaces and 365 parking spaces were provided. In addition, the hours of operation for the building have also been established. The supermarket location will be open from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week and the drive-thrus might both be 24-hour. The entire project is consistent with the general plan and meets the development standards
Gerald Chase, the former owner of the Kmart building, was present at the planning commission meeting to give a history of the building. Chase built the Kmart building 43 years ago in 1975 and is the longest running landlord of any Kmart building. His cooperation and input on the project has been helpful in pushing the development forward. The Cloverlane Foundation is run by Chase and has handed out thousands to students and veterans throughout the San Jacinto Valley.

Sprouts center expansion
Over the next year, expect to see a tremendous amount of construction and development as The KPC Stetson and State center comes to fruition. The development, and engineering is being done by the same group that brought the Burlington, Sprouts, and Ulta center to the city.
Petty told the meeting attendees to expect more development at the Sprouts center as they have plans for another 40,000+ square-foot building to the east. Petty’s excitement about the project is infectious, especially when he explains the size of the project and number of new businesses to expect on the property.

Matt McPherson is a realtor with Coleman & Associates Real Estate and Development. He can be reached at 951-315-7914 or email

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