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'A facelift' | New self-storage facility to overhaul former Shopko building

'A facelift' | New self-storage facility to overhaul former Shopko building

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Shopko in 2019

The pharmacy at Shopko, 4801 Washington Ave., closed in 2019. It will soon be a self-storage facility to be developed by Cogent Capital Group, a real estate developer based in Wilmette, Ill.

RACINE — A new self-storage facility will occupy the former Shopko building at 4801 Washington Ave. as soon as spring 2022.

Cogent Capital Group, based in Wilmette, Illinois, will be developing the facility. They have developed about 30 self-storage facilities across the country, according to CEO Ned Mahic, with companies like CubeSmart and ExtraSpace Storage as their operators.

It has not been decided yet which company will operate the Washington Avenue location. Cogent will receive its full permits to convert the building by the end of this fall, and construction should be completed for the storage facility to be open by mid-spring next year, Mahic said.

According to Racine County, the building was sold in late August for about $2.67 million.

The economy has steadily added jobs since the country’s first wave of pandemic-related layoffs, but after enhanced unemployment benefits ended Monday, some expect many Americans will soon return to the labor market. Rebecca Dixon, executive director at the National Employment Law Project, joined Cheddar to talk about whether or not data backs up the speculation. “We’ve actually seen that states that continue to pay benefits have slightly better job growth than in the states that cut them off prematurely." She added that other studies have shown that cutting benefits causes hardship for families without actually speeding up their return to the job market.

The budget for renovations of the Shopko building are about $4 million, Mahic said. “The city wanted us to come up with a newer design to give a facelift to the area.”

There will be interior and exterior renovations done.

The self-storage facility will be Class-A, Mahic said, and will have a “drive-thru”-like feature allowing customers to easily maneuver their vehicles in and out of the facility in a horseshoe shape.

There are two benefits to the drive-thru feature: it will be more comfortable for the customer and will not be visible to the public eye, giving the facility a cleaner look, Mahic said.

Mahic said there is a need in Racine for a self-storage facility; in suburban Milwaukee areas such as Racine, 7.5 square feet of storage is needed per person in a 3-mile radius. However, the amount of square feet of storage available in the area is about 3 feet.

“There is a shortage of storage,” Mahic said. “We saw an opportunity in Racine.”

Racine’s Shopko closed two years ago.

The Green Bay-based company filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, with all of its more than 150 stores closing by summer of that year. Some Shopko Optical locations still exist, however, including at 2860 S. Green Bay Road.


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