GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Military Avenue in Green Bay is the place to be if you are a retailer or developer. Change is coming to the old Sears building on Military and Mason.
“They have plans moving forward, I believe two new Tenants are coming in,” said Leah Weycher, Executive Director of Military Avenue Business District. Weycher said she can’t reveal who those Tenants are, but the plan is to tear the building down. “I think it’s a good move and I think we’re also looking at parking lots differently than we did back in the 1970s and 1960s,” she said.
Space consolidation is a huge part of retail buildings these days, as supply chain issues and the state of the economy continue to be problematic for consumers and retailers. Basically, companies and corporations are looking to smaller spaces to open up shop.
Burlington is downsizing from their 56,400 sq ft. space at Military and Mason, to around 40,000 sq ft. They are making way for a new Petco store, which is under construction now. “In April 2020, we purchased the old Toys-R-Us building, where Planet Fitness is right now,” said David Martin, owner of H.J. Martin and Son. Speaking with Local 5’s Eric Richards by phone, Martin says Petco would have moved in next to Planet Fitness, but there was a need for some more room. “They needed something a little bigger and Burlington said they didn’t need such a large space, so the made room for Petco,” he said.
Speaking of H.J. Martin and Son, they have acquired the old Shopko Building on Military. “We are using it for storage and as a training facility, but we are still working actively to redevelop it eventually,” said Martin.
There is also hope that a residential developer will set their sights on the Military corridor, to add housing to the mix. “I would like to see housing developments as well, that would be great,” said Weycher.
At this time, it is unclear when the Petco project will be completed, they are hoping for late summer or early fall of this year. Two additional coffee shops are also expected to be added to the neighborhood soon.