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KMart open house draws dozens to suggest ideas for development

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People lined up outside the old KMart building at Losey Boulevard and State Road on Wednesday, but they weren’t waiting for a Blue Light Special. 

Several dozen people gathered store that’s been vacant for four years, to offer ideas on how the building and parking lot could be used in the future. 

Maybe another retail store, like a Costco?  La Crosse’s city planner, Andrea Trane, told WIZM that the Costco chain is interested in this market, but wants a larger lot than the eight-acre KMart site.

There is a great need for our community for additional housing, affordable housing,” Trane said. “We would like to see things that are creating new jobs. Kmart was obviously a very key retail center for that neighborhood. I think, what I’m hearing from the neighbors, is they miss that. They miss those amenities that Kmart provided.”

Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions, a local developer, was on hand to talk with citizens with suggestions. The company has partnered with the owners of the site to put together a plan for development.

WIZM talked with Three Sixty owner Marvin Wanders about site development. You can read more about what Wanders had to say here, which includes hopefully renaming the area soon, so they no longer have to keep saying “the old Kmart site.”

The KMart operated for 52 years at that location until it closed in 2017. The old store was briefly used by U-Haul in recent months.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

  1. Nicholas Berry

    May 27, 2021 at 7:02 am

    The first problem is the old building that probably has asbestos. If correct, the cost to take it down goes up dramatically.
    Second , the slab has to be torn up and that should not be a big deal..
    There is already thee Shopkos standing emptythe mall is struggling so why put another big box store there?
    Drive down to Davenport , IA and see the traffic around a Costco there; also, the article is correct- the lot is way too small.
    Affordable housing may be hard depending on the cost of tearing down the building, prepping the land and going through all the red tape.
    I could continue but will not take up any more space. I insured many a building project much larger than this and there are a lot of moving pieces.

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