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REAL ESTATE | Will West Bend’s former Shopko follow in Fond du Lac’s footsteps?

December 12, 2021 – West Bend, Wi – The former Shopko building in West Bend is rumored to possibly be sold before the end of the year.

The Shopko store closed in West Bend, April 15, 2019, as the national retailer, based in Green Bay, WI, filed bankruptcy.

Since then, the location, 1710 S. Main Street, in West Bend has been for sale. It has randomly been leased by the seasonal Halloween store, but generally it sits empty.

shopko
Real estate listing for former Shopko in West Bend
Shopko Fond du Lac
Former Shopko location in Fond du Lac on W. Johnson Street

In neighboring Fond du Lac County, a similar scenario took place with the Shopko, 616 W. Johnson Street. That location closed in 2019 and sat empty until April 2020 when the parcel sold to Corta Development of Florida.

Corta Development describes itself as “Commercial Retail development and redevelopment firm serving national tenants and brands.”

Corta Development is now leasing 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.”

Big Lots Fond du Lac
Big Lots coming into Fond du Lac on W. Johnson Street

Aside from splitting the Shopko space with new tenants Big Lots and Hobby Lobby, a new Taco John’s restaurant is being 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.

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“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.”

Calls to corporate Big Lots have only been answered via a message saying, “Judith, our information shows that the only store opening in Wisconsin in the near future is at Fond Du Lac on December 30, 2021.”

Side notes:

  • Cleveland confirmed, Corta Development purchased the former Shopko building in Fond du Lac. It is leasing the space to Big Lots and Hobby Lobby.
  • In West Bend, investors purchasing large retail outlets is nothing new. In July 2021 WashingtonCountyInsider.com reported on the sale of the former Boston Store building and the strip mall to the north sold to City Pointe LLC of Brookfield for $3.6 million. So far there’s been no updates on any new tenants.
  • There was “no comment” from Hobby Lobby in West Bend regarding what it may know about the former Shopko location next door.
  • Calls have also been place to Economic Development Washington County, however, it normally refrains from commenting and deals more with industry and manufacturing. Several aldermen questioned about the potential sale /development had no insight.
  • Click HERE to read about the new West Bend Axe & Escape opening in the Paradise Pavilion in 2022.

What retailer would you like to see fill the spot at 1) former Shopko location or 2) former Boston Store/Elder-Beerman?

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Tommy Schwai

21 COMMENTS

  1. Would like to see a Target go in somewhere …….empty Boston Store or Shopko. How about TJ Max, Sierra Trading Post, Joann Fabrics.

  2. It would be so great, but the rough part is all the open retail spots are too small for Target, based on the information they provide on their corporate website. It would need to build new.

  3. TARGET! West Bend def needs a Target store! I get my prescriptions filled @ CVS inside Target in Menomonee Falls & that drive back & forth from WB to Menomonee Falls is no hop skip & jump. TARGET PLEASE? 🤗

  4. A Joann Fabrics would be awesome. We have alot of sewers and quilters here in West Bend. Also a target would be nice. Portillos would be a great restaurant.

  5. Target would be great but they have a lot of parameters before they go into a location. Joanne’s closed in West Bend around 1983. Let’s get some of the great stores already mentioned! Only addition would be to get a Rocky Rocco back in town!

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