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K MART PUTS DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN THE BAG
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K MART PUTS DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN THE BAG

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K mart on Monday finalized its purchase of a 94-acre tract east of Greensboro on which it will build a distribution center, city and state officials said.

Two agreements apparently cleared the way for the sale: an informal commitment from state officials to build the eastern leg of Painter Boulevard, which would serve the center, sooner than planned; and an agreement among city, Guilford County and Kmart officials on paying to relocate a city sewer line that runs through the site, at U.S. 70 and Penry Road.W.A. Fryar Jr., who owns the land, confirmed the sale had taken place. He would not say how much Kmart paid for the property, which was part of Fryar's family farm.

Tom Stapleton, the city's business assistance and economic development manager, and Bill Buchanan, who represents Guilford and Alamance counties on the state Board of Transportation, also confirmed that the sale had been closed.

``They have checks in hand; agreements are signed and it is a done deal,' Buchanan said. ``Kmart has agreed to the agreement worked out between the city, the county and DOT (the Department of Transportation).'

Buchanan said the state ``would make a best-faith effort to move the project along to something like what they wanted, which would put it in mid-1994 sometime.'

Neither Buchanan nor Stapleton knew exactly how much Kmart paid for the property. The 1.5-million-square-foot facility is expected to employ as many as 500 people after it is completed in mid-1992.

Kmart asked the state in October to speed up construction of the eastern leg of Painter Boulevard as a condition for locating at the site east of Greensboro. Painter is a planned 33-mile loop around Greensboro that the state will build over the next 10 years.

Painter's eastern leg would run north from Interstate 85 / 40 to U.S. 29 and would provide better truck access to the Kmart site.

The state had planned to begin construction on the eastern leg sometime after 1996. Kmart asked state officials in October to complete it by 1996.

State officials had said that could be done only if work on the western leg of Painter, scheduled for construction beginning in 1995, were delayed. Most Greensboro City Council members oppose such a delay, saying the western leg is needed to ease traffic on neighborhood streets in northwest Greensboro.

But Buchanan said Monday that the state's informal agreement does not call for delaying the western leg.

Rather, he said, the transportation department and transportation board would try, within restrictions placed on the Highway Trust Fund by the legislature, to begin work on the eastern leg in 1994.

Stapleton said the county had agreed to pay up to $35,000 and the city up to $30,000 to relocate 1,400 feet of 8-inch sewer line that now runs through the middle of the property.

``We've got to move that line because right now, four of the existing manholes would be under that building,' Stapleton said.

He said Kmart had agreed to pay any portion of the cost over that $65,000 total.

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