KEWAUNEE – These massive, tall, empty derelict Shopko Hometown buildings, vacant for almost two years in Kewaunee and Oconto, might be occupied by a nationwide dwelling enchancment and rural life-style retailer.

Tractor Provide Co. plans to open shops within the outdated Shopkos this summer season in Kewaunee and this fall in Oconto, an organization spokesperson confirmed in an electronic mail. The thought for the brand new shops was introduced to officers at Kewaunee earlier this 12 months and at Oconto about six weeks in the past, however the plans have been formalized in Kewaunee just a few weeks in the past and in Oconto final week, stated. these officers.

The corporate calls itself “… a vital, needs-based retailer offering on a regular basis merchandise to prospects” preferring the do-it-yourself methodology. These merchandise don’t really embody full-size farm tractors, however embody garden mowers and different out of doors electrical tools, garden and backyard upkeep provides, out of doors residing items, together with grills, instruments and tools, pet and farm meals and provides, farm wants, home items, clothes and footwear and extra.

“I feel it is smart to them within the rural space that we’re,” stated Kewaunee Mayor Jason Jelinek. “There’s plenty of buzz, lots of people wish to see it coming right here. They want to see a retailer that has extra choices for instruments, clothes and different gadgets.”

Nashville-based Tractor Provide employed greater than 42,000 individuals in 1,923 shops in 49 states as of Dec. 26 with 25 shops in Wisconsin, based on the corporate. The Kewaunee and Oconto shops will every make use of round 15 individuals, not less than half of them full time.

It isn’t but clear what the dimensions of those shops might be. A typical Tractor Provide retailer spans roughly 15,000 sq. ft, and the 2 Shopko Hometown constructions every measure simply over 35,000 ft.

However Kewaunee Constructing Inspector and Zoning Administrator Robbie Davister stated he believed the Kewaunee retailer could be one of many largest within the firm and that he was planning an outside exhibition space of ​​14,731. sq. ft.

The opening dates haven’t but been fastened; they are going to be based mostly on the schedule to transform the outdated Shopkos, inventory new shops, and rent and prepare employees. Jelinek stated the Kewaunee constructing is “in pretty fine condition” and he believes the shop might be open in late June or early July. Oconto administrator Sara Perizzo stated the Oconto retailer may open mid to late summer season.

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Jelinek and Perizzo stated the advantages of supplying tractors to those cities usually are not simply that they may fill massive buildings which have been vacant since Shopko closed in Could 2019 (Kewaunee) and June 2019 (Oconto) and that it might need been tough to take action. fill in as a result of their dimension, location, and zoning would require some type of industrial or industrial use. It should additionally generate extra tax income for cities than these properties at present do, and Perizzo famous that it’s going to assist keep away from what is named the “black retailer loophole” that enables massive field retailers in Wisconsin to. declare decrease tax payments based mostly on the assessed worth. vacant properties of comparable dimension.

“For the neighborhood it is a good asset,” stated Perrizo. “It is all the time good to fill an empty constructing. It should definitely fill the void we had when Shopko left. It should definitely maintain the black retailer loophole from being considered one of our considerations … We’re delighted to have a brand new one. the retail transaction fills in an empty area. “

“Simply the concept somebody goes to be on this retailer,” Jelinek stated. “We have now seen tall buildings sit down and decompose. We might be completely happy to keep away from this highway.”

They stated one other perk is that residents will not essentially need to exit of city to purchase the vary of merchandise the shops supply. Oconto has two native {hardware} shops, however the closest providing a variety of reworking or rural life-style just like Tractor Provide are in Marinette, website of one other Tractor Provide and Menard’s, or Inexperienced Bay.

“It is going to be good to have individuals shopping for regionally,” Perizzo stated.

Kewaunee doesn’t have a ironmongery store, so present choices are to go to the Rio Creek Nation Retailer in Algoma, a True Worth retailer that additionally sells farm provides; small {hardware} shops in Algoma or Luxembourg; or take the half hour journey to Inexperienced Bay, Manitowoc or Sturgeon Bay, which has a Tractor Provide retailer that the corporate additionally opened in a former retail constructing, a Kmart that closed in 1995 and has remained Inactive and in poor situation for 21 years till Tractor Provide moved in in 2016.

Jelinek stated that the arrival of a retailer like Tractor Provide additionally exhibits that Kewaunee is making progress in its efforts to revitalize the town’s attractiveness to companies, consumers and individuals who reside there or who may contemplate shifting there. set up.

“I feel individuals know they’ve choices at Kewaunee is an efficient factor,” Jelinek stated. “We will discuss the great thing about Kewaunee, the nice place to reside, however in actuality, having these facilities for on a regular basis life is simply as vital.

“I feel (Tractor Provide is coming to Kewaunee) is a superb indicator that it is a good sport for the neighborhood. It isn’t nearly attracting individuals to the town, but in addition from exterior the town. neighborhood. Having a giant field retailer is an efficient signal that Kewaunee is rising … I all the time come again to the outdated phrase, extra is extra and fewer is much less. “

To study extra about Tractor Provide Co., go to

Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or

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