Big-box boom

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am

The area around the Interstate 43 and Highway 42 interchange, located just northwest of the city of Sheboygan, will change dramatically as two major retail developments are expected to begin construction later this year. Currently, there are only a handful of retail businesses located along Highway 42 to the west of I-43. The area along Highway 42 east of the freeway has more retail development including a Comfort Inn hotel, a Gander Mountain store and a Menards store.

By comparison, a Citgo gas station, a Cousins restaurant and Miesfeld’s Market, a meat market, are the only retailers located along Highway 42 immediately to the west of I-43.

“We’re pretty much all alone out here,” said Chuck Miesfeld, owner of Miesfeld’s Market.

But that is about to change.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Inc. plans to build a 185,000-square-foot Supercenter store on 80 acres of farmland southwest of I-43 and Highway 42.

Eau Claire-based Menard Inc. plans to build a 230,000-square-foot store north of the Wal-Mart site and northwest of I-43 and Highway 42. The Menards store will be about three times the size of the existing Menards store at 4309 County Highway J, which is just southeast of the I-43 and Highway 42 interchange. Menard Inc. plans to sell its current property after the new store opens, said Theron Berg, senior real estate associate for Menard.

Miesfeld’s Market is near the Wal-Mart and Menard’s sites. The new stores should bring more shoppers to the area near the meat market, and Miesfeld said he is not concerned about competing with Wal-Mart.

“We’re looking forward to the traffic,” he said. “We don’t have any fear of Wal-Mart. They do have a meat department, but we’re a little more upscale. We’re a different kind of meat market. That’s all we do.”

Miesfeld’s recently added an 8,000-square-foot expansion to its 24,000-square-foot building at 4811 Venture Dr., which is just south of Highway 42. Miesfeld’s moved there about seven years ago from its previous location about 3.5 miles to the southeast.

The Wal-Mart and Menards stores will likely attract more retail development to the area. Additional retailers are expected to occupy some outlots in front of the Wal-Mart store. The sale of the current Menards store will create an opportunity for more commercial development.

“There’s a nice 18-acre piece of (vacant) land just to the west of Wal-Mart that I’m sure will be developed fairly soon,” Miesfeld said.

The Wal-Mart and Menards sites are located in the Town of Sheboygan and town officials are already hearing from some interested in additional development in the area.

“We’ve had some inquiries from other stores and restaurants (interested in coming to the area) but nothing definite,” said Town of Sheboygan administrator Louella Conway. “We do anticipate that it is going to grow as far as more business.”

Other development that has occurred near I-43 and Highway 42 in recent yeas includes a 9,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building built by Sheboygan-based AW Real Estate at Mill Road and Highway 42.

The plans for new Wal-Mart and Menards stores near the Highway 42 and I-43 interchange could be a sign that the northern portion of Sheboygan County is going to become a retail development hot spot.

In recent years the hottest areas in Sheboygan County for retail development have been Taylor Drive in Sheboygan and the Deer Trace Plaza development in Kohler.

Deer Trace Plaza has brought several new national retailers to Sheboygan County including Target, Pier1 Imports, TJ Maxx, Elder-Beerman and Home Depot.

Next to Deer Trace, a 30,000-square-foot Best Buy store is under construction and expected to open later this month.

Taylor Drive, the main retail corridor in the City of Sheboygan, has been experiencing several changes in recent years. The city’s only indoor shopping mall, Memorial Mall, which is located on Taylor Drive, added a Bed Bath and Beyond store last year. The biggest new development on Taylor Drive is a new 212,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter store, which opened last year at the southeast corner of Taylor Drive and Washington Avenue. The store replaced another Wal-Mart store at the Taylor Heights shopping center, which closed and remains vacant. A former Piggly Wiggly store at Taylor Heights, which closed in 2005, also remains vacant.

Next to Taylor Heights, a former Sentry grocery store building has been vacant since 2000, when Sentry closed after being open for less than a year. Irving, Texas-based Gold’s Gym was planning to open a 40,000-square-foot health club in the building, but that project has been placed on hold.

The new Menards store will create yet another large vacant retail space on the market in Sheboygan.

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