Vacant buildings in Stevens Point being redeveloped into new businesses

Stores like Hobby Lobby, Big Lots and Home Goods all plan on coming to the city's east side
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:22 PM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - While business may be booming in Stevens Point, an even larger business boom is in the making. Multiple businesses will be turning unused, vacant buildings into new stores for shoppers.

The businesses are part of a redevelopment project by developers hoping to bring in new customers.

What were once hot spots on Stevens Points’ east side years ago, now sit multiple vacant buildings and empty parking lots. “The fact that they’ve been sitting vacant for a lot of years, made it ripe for redevelopment,” said Mayor Mike Wiza of Stevens Point.

So, developers got to work to repurpose those buildings. “Well, we finally have someone who’s willing to do something in that area and they’ve come to us with a plan for that whole area including both of the big chunks of lot vacancies and the parking lot in between,” added Mayor Wiza.

The city’s redevelopment map shows the former Copps complex and former Walmart location being turned into retail stores. Those stores will include a Hobby Lobby, Ross, BigLots, 5 Below, a pet store, and other “mid-level box stores” as Mayor Wiza described them.

He said the new businesses mean new jobs for the area. “Yes, they will bring in jobs, and being a college town, there are people that like and want those sorts of positions,” said Mayor Wiza.

While the projects are still in their beginning stages, Mayor Wiza said opening dates depend on when the developers can get the stores renovated and finished.