By Melanie Rossi
DE PERE – De Pere’s former Shopko site will be converted into six new structures according to De Pere development officials.
The plans — which were approved by the De Pere Common Council — include tearing down the 60,000 square foot Shopko building and using its space, along with its parking lot, to create “a vertical and horizontal mixed-use site,” Dan Lindstrom, De Pere development services director, said.
The proposed plans include five privately-owned buildings and a parking structure, all of which will have a variety of uses — both vertically, inside each building, and horizontally, throughout the entire site.
“Depending on the scope and anticipation and timeline of each individual building,” Lindstrom said, “it will be a mix of commercial, retail, some office as well as residential units in the form of apartments and condos, as well as a potential for a new downtown hotel.”
The proposed plan will cost upwards of $80 million, and the overall projected assessed value is just under $60 million.
Behind the project is De Pere 230 Development Partners LLC, a “representation of multiple parties located in this region that have an interest in our downtown,” Lindstrom said.
“That’s not to say that they will be the only investors in this project; they will now bring these projects forward to interested parties interested in investing in downtown now that they have a concept plan that they can now show to other investors to be involved in this project.”
The project is expected to take anywhere between five and seven years to complete, with the construction on the first building looking to begin next year.
Lindstrom said, “This project has been evaluated over the past year plus, and changes in construction pricing and changes in the interest rates have sort of shifted the project over time to make it what we see today, which is a smaller project — and by smaller, I mean instead of one larger building in the site or two larger buildings on the site, you see multiple buildings, which has allowed the ownership group to take smaller bites as you go… It also allows the project to go quicker from a kicking off standpoint because you’re not trying to fund one larger building.
“In this case having five private buildings with one potentially public building that’s part of that one has allowed for the project to move at a more regulated scale.”
For the residents of De Pere, the plan to transform the former Shopko site will bring many benefits.
With up to 20,000 square feet of new retail opportunities, even more office space and around 116 new apartments, the downtown development has the potential to attract even more residents to the city.
Lindstrom said, “Over the past several years, De Pere has lost a lot of its downtown units… This in itself would bring more additional permanent residents to our downtown.”