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Plans for old Kmart expected to be revealed this week



So far, the pending deal on the old Kmart site in La Crosse has been pretty quiet.

City hall isn’t directly involved and likely buyers have remained unnamed for now. That, however, is all likely to change this week.

City economic development coordinator Andrea Schnick expects to have news soon on a finalized sale and what sort of development might be on the way.  

“This is such a unique opportunity for development right in the middle of the city with such great adjacent amenities, and we really want to be able to take advantage of that,” Schnick said.

Planners had hoped for a solid mix of residential and commercial development on the site. For now, the 10.5-acre property remains under ownership of the New York company that had previously leased it to Kmart. But things now have changed.

“There wasn’t a lot of motivation for the property owner to do much about it when, they’re probably dealing with several similar properties throughout the country,” she said. “But now that the lease is up with Kmart, there’s motivation to do something because they don’t have revenue coming in on that site.”

Whatever the future holds for the site, another big box retailer similar to Kmart is seen as highly unlikely.

“We both agree that we want to maximize the use of that site — meaning have additional commercial space there, have residential space there,” Schnick said of her talks with the developers.  “Really utilize every square inch that we have.”

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