Developers get creative with big-box buildings

Posted on March 29, 2013

A new church in Greenfield.

An indoor bike park on the north side of Milwaukee.

A gym in downtown Milwaukee.

What do they have in common? They once were big-box retail stores.
Several big-box buildings became available in the Milwaukee-area market in recent years with the bankruptcies of Circuit City, Linens ’n Things and Borders, along with individual stores that have closed or relocated. Those buildings can be hard to fill because retailers are increasingly abandoning the big-box format, so many developers have come up with creative alternatives.

Not all of the spaces have lost their retail status. Several, like the former Target in Kenosha, have been broken down into smaller spaces for two or more retail tenants. The city of Milwaukee hopes to take this approach with the vacant Lowe’s at Midtown Center on the northwest side of town.

In the Granville neighborhood, the city hopes to turn several former big boxes near the former Northridge Mall into industrial sites.

Stacy Vogel Davis, The Business Journal.