September 30, 2022 – West Bend, Wi – The West Bend Plan Commission meets Tuesday, October 4, 2022 and one item on the agenda talks about site plans for the construction of 2,400 square-foot restaurant located in front of the building at 1690-1760 S. Main Street, by Corta West Bend LLC.
Early word is the restaurant is a Taco John’s, which follows the same plan Corta Development took in Fond du Lac, WI when it leased the former Shopko space on Johnson Street.
It was December 12, 2021 when WashingtonCountyInsider.com first floated the idea about whether Corta Development out of Orlando, Florida would use the same gameplan with West Bend’s Shopko as it had with other stores in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Counties.
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The rumor at the time was BigLots! and by January 2022 confirmation came about five Below and HomeGoods also securing a spot on S. Main Street.
Corta Development leased the former Shopko space on Johnson Street to a pair of big box retailers.
Jim Cleveland, Vice President of Economic Development with Envision Greater Fond du Lac, said he started working with Corta Development a couple years ago.
“Corta Development has been a great partner to work with,” said Cleveland. “Their development to purchase and repurpose the old Shopko building has really been important because it’s taken one of these vacant big box stores, which are extremely hard to repurpose, and it brought in more retail options for our community.”
Aside from splitting the Shopko space with new tenants Big Lots and Hobby Lobby, a new Taco John’s restaurant was constructed in the out lot on W. Johnson Street.
“For Fond du Lac and the City of Fond du Lac it’s another piece to a development barrage that’s been going on in the West Johnson Street corridor,” said Cleveland. “When you look at the Forest Mall redevelopment and look at some of the new restaurants moving in, it’s really been a big, big plus for our community.”
As far as the breakdown of the former Shopko in Fond du Lac, the size of the building, according to Cleveland is about 86,000 square feet. Big Lots will take up a small section on the east endcap while Hobby Lobby will occupy a significantly larger space.
“Yes, there’s a lot of online shopping but at the end of the day having options for citizens to go to locally, still has a lot of relevance,” Cleveland said. “There is a significant amount of people that still like going to physical store locations. The community is extremely excited about both Big Lots and Hobby Lobby coming to town.”
Questioned whether any other big box stores were in the mix with the former Shopko building in Fond du Lac, Cleveland said he “could not speak to that.”
“From conversations I have had with other development firms, other commercial brokers, there’s a lot of retail restaurants looking at, not only Fond du Lac, but I would suspect this whole area from Washington County up through Winnebago County,” he said. “There’s just been a lot of activity with retailers and restaurants looking at this area of the state of Wisconsin right now.”
The West Bend Plan Commission meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4 in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street. The meeting is open to the public.
This is a working story, and more information will be posted when details become available.