Former Kmart to transform into self-storage unit

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE - After closing its doors over three years ago, the former Kmart building located in Devils Lake will finally find itself useful once more when it transitions into a self-storage unit this upcoming fall if all goes according to plan.

The name of the new establishment, called Lifestyle Storage, will provide secure, protected and climate-controlled storage units available in half of the building. The other half, meanwhile, will act as boat storage during the winter until a long-term plan involving a commercial tenant can be put together.

Devils Lake Big K has sat vacant ever since the chain shut down in 2018.

Russel Crary, who is part of the Lifestyle Storage development group and is additionally a sales manager for Crary Real Estate, said the targeted date for completion will be mid-October.

“It is to provide value for the community to a building that was falling apart and not utilized,” Crary said. “Whether that be a service to actual citizens so they can have a secure location to store their belongings, whether it be private things or whether they will be able to move, it provides a service to the community.”

To Crary, the idea was to renovate the building into something that can provide a useful and valuable commodity to the community.

“I think the goal was to take a building that was not really providing any value to anybody there and try to provide value to the city of Devils Lake,” Crary said.

The building, located at 701 5th Ave. South, officially held its last day as a Kmart on Apr. 8, 2018. The termination came in light of Sears Holding Corporation's mass closures of Kmart and Sears stores across the country.