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Development of former Kmart to go through normal city hall vetting process



What the old Kmart lot in La Crosse becomes next has been the focus of plenty of attention, especially for neighbors of the large property in the middle of the city.

Whatever it is, people will have plenty of warning, says the city’s economic development coordinator Andrea Schnick.

“I think there will be a lot more opportunity in the future for community input on that,” Schnick said.

The city plans a public-private partnership with new owner VSC to help develop the property. VSC owns the Village Shopping Center across State Road from the former Kmart site.

A purchase of the 10.5-acre property was announced last week. It was assessed at around $6.5 million. It generated $188,000 annually in local property tax revenue.

As VSC develops the property, the process will have to go through typical city approval processes.

“Making sure that they’re following the zoning,” Schnick said, “that anything they’re looking to do would be allowed on that site, either, as is or what the process would be to do a rezoning if need be.

Whatever the development looks like, it won’t be created in secret, assures Schnick.

“As they’re going through that process there will be situations such as if they need to rezone it,” Schnick said. “All of that would be public record.

“As they go through the designer review process, we have a designer review process for both commercial developments and multi-family developments.”

Kmart closed in early September of 2017.

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