BIDDEFORD, Maine — A nearly 11-year-old Kohl’s department store in Biddeford will have to close down and be demolished after the city became aware that the building is slowly sinking into the ground, multiple Portland television stations reported Thursday.
Portland NBC affiliate WCSH 6 reported that the Gateway Plaza store, which was constructed in 2003, will be closed in February and replaced by a new, smaller store built near that location after the current structure is razed.
Biddeford city officials first learned that the 88,000-square-foot Kohl’s building was sinking in 2007, local ABC affiliate WMTW 8 reported, and after investigating, later determined the sinking could be blamed on the use of improper fill prior to construction.
City Codes Enforcement Officer Roby Fecteau told WMTW that the building, which cost the retail company $2.8 million to build, was never in jeopardy of collapse.
Kohl’s has already applied for a building permit for the store’s replacement, which is expected to cost $3 million to construct, the ABC affiliate reported.
Kohl’s is one of America’s largest department store chains with nearly 1,200 stores nationwide.
There are five Kohl’s department stores in Maine, with locations in Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford and Westbrook.