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VIDEO | REAL ESTATE | Construction finally underway for Taco John’s in West Bend, WI

West Bend, Wi – It has been a long, long wait but fans of Taco John’s are finally able to see progress as ground was broken on S. Main Street in front of the old Shopko/ Five Below.

It was Tuesday, October 4, 2022, when the West Bend Plan Commission first started talking 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.

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The development is very similar to the Taco John’s in Fond du Lac, WI; that store also leased space in front of the former Shopko space on Johnson Street.

A couple notes on the submitted plan:

DINING AREA: 46 occupancy
KITCHEN AREA: 6 occupancy
TOTAL NUMBER OF OCCUPANTS FOR THE BUILDING = 52 OCC.
(TOTAL OCCUPANCY INCLUDING EXTERIOR SEATING = 68 OCC.)

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john's
Taco John’s coming to West Bend, WI

The site plan is located at the northwest corner of W. Paradise Drive and S. Main Street.  Corta Development has submitted a “master site plan” proposing improvements to the parking lot areas at 1690-1760 S. Main Street.

The “master site plan” also includes a proposed development of a “future coffee shop with drive-thru only tenant.” That would be located in the parking lot to the east of Hobby Lobby.

Plans show a double drive-thru but a bit larger store footprint than when Mountain Mudd was in West Bend on Highway 33. Remember that old Kodak store remodel…

The improvements identified on the site plan include installing two water laterals and a sanitary sewer lateral to serve the development of two commercial lots along S. Main Street.

Landscape islands will be constructed within the large parking lot east of the main building to redefine the end drive aisle and the grades will be adjusted to provide drainage around those islands.  Two access driveways will be constructed on the north and south sides of the private main entrance from S. Main Street.

The parking lot will be resurfaced and was previously approved for the development.  Pavement markings and signage will need to be installed to define the traffic patterns and be consistent with the traffic impact analysis.

A traffic impact analysis has been submitted for the developments and has been reviewed by the City Engineer.  Review comments have been distributed to the Developer and their consultant for revisions.  The final findings of the traffic impact analysis may impact the needed improvements to the site and public roads.

If additional improvements are required and impact the public right of way, a developer’s agreement will be necessary for the completion of those required improvements.

Staff would recommend approval with the following conditions:

1.      Approval of a traffic impact analysis by the City Engineer.

2.      Prior to the installation of the underground utilities, plumbing permits shall be obtained.

3.      Parking lot resurfacing, pavement markings and traffic signage shall be completed.

4.      Approval of a Developer’s Agreement pertaining to any public improvements required by the traffic impact analysis.

5.      Revision to the site plan to incorporate the requirements of the approved traffic impact analysis.

Design plans for Taco John’s in West Bend, WI

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.

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.

American Commercial Real Estate

Corta Development leased the former Shopko space on Johnson Street in Fond du Lac, WI 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.”

Big Lots Fond du Lac
Taco John’s is in front of Big Lots in Fond du Lac on W. Johnson Street

Aside from splitting the Shopko space in Fond du Lac, WI with new tenants Big Lots and Hobby Lobby, a new Taco John’s restaurant was constructed in the out lot on W. Johnson Street.

taco
Taco John’s in Fond du Lac, WI

“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.”

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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.”

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