DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – The city of De Pere finally has a redevelopment plan for the four-acre site of James Street, William Street, Michigan Street, and North Washington Street.

The 80-million-dollar redevelopment is planning to demolish the De Pere Shopko by the end of the year and replace it with five multi-use buildings and a city-owned parking garage.

The store has remained completely vacant since it closed down in May 2019. Because the project is so complex, it has taken some time to work through the logistics of the plan, but the De Pere Mayor says the preliminary plan has finally been approved.

“The developers accurately stated that this would be considered a new gateway, at least to the East side of De Pere,” said De Pere mayor James Boyd. “We envision what will happen is this is going to spur so much development, not just here, but around the area.”

Mayor Boyd also explains that their development team, De Pere 230 Development Partners LLC, estimates more than 10-20 retail and commercial spaces included in the plan and 200 spaces to meet the high demand of residential areas. The project as a whole is expected to take a span of 3-5 years to get to the finished product.

“We’re looking at additional retail, mix-development, apartments, condos, hotels, and a parking structure that will satisfy a lot of demand as well,” continues Mayor Boyd. “We think this will be very beneficial to the residents and the businesses as well.”

As of right now, the city hopes to have the building removed by the end of this year so they can begin phase one of the development plan. This means that the block that Shopko is currently on will become an apartment complex and then a parking ramp, which Mayor Boyd says could potentially be completed in the next year or two.

Phase two would then begin across the street on Broadway, which would include a hotel. Public green space within the development project will also become accessible to visitors and members of the community.

Neighboring businesses like “Definitely De Pere” are excited about this project to see the positive impact it has on Downtown. Tina Quigley, the Executive Director, said how thankful she is that the development team is trying to incorporate various elements into the plan, and she is optimistic about this project bringing in more foot traffic.