Marshalls grand opening brings boost to East Town Mall

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- After years of vacancy, the old Cub Foods location near East Town Mall is springing new life after a new store's grand opening Thursday.

Marshalls is one of four mid-sized box stores moving into the vacant 60,000 square foot store. PetSmart is expected to open in a few weeks, with Ross Dress for Less over the winter. The Chicago-based developer, Learsi and Co, is still looking for a fourth tenant to round out the new shopping center.

Action 2 News has been following the redevelopment project for years, after Cub Foods closed back in 2009. Now almost ten years later, Green Bay’s Development Director Kevin Vonck says the eastside is getting its strength back.

“We had a developer who basically saw the market and saw we have a growing east side, we’ve got a great population out there that continues to grow and they are looking for retail options,” said Vonck. “Just didn’t have a lot out there and basically say this property in a great location as a big box able to be repurposed into some smaller spaces and that’s what they moved forward with.”

Now that the old Cub Foods location is well on its way to completion, Vonck said it should help with the redevelopment efforts over at East Town Mall, by adding four to six more mid-sized box stores.

“Right now, council approved the development agreement for east town mall, so developers are in the process of securing their tenants,” said Vonck. “They are looking to get that right mix of stores; you see what is going next door and what else is needed in that area. Once that is finalized this winter, they will work on plans for design and construction and moving forward with that.”

Vonck said thinking smaller is smarter in today’s economy.

“There’s always concern when you talk about a big box retailer, but what you are looking at now is these boxes are going from big-box to medium box,” said Vonck.” When you are talking about 30,000-40,000 square foot spaces, if retailers move out then those are more flexible or adaptable for a new retailer to move in.”