LA CROSSE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The building that used to house La Crosse’s K-Mart has been vacant since 2017, but a redevelopment of the lot seems to finally be on the horizon. The future of La Crosse’s former K-Mart is becoming clearer.
Three Sixty real estate held a community engagement last May to hear what residents wanted done to the site. Based on their feedback, a mixed-use development containing housing and retail space is being pitched.
“We want it to be a positive impact in the neighborhood, we want it to positively impact the community…what better way to do that than organically to actually ask and find out what people want to see there, versus us coming in top-down and saying this is what should happen here,” said Director of Development Jeremy Novak.
Three Sixty presented its “Copper Rocks” development plan this week, which was positively met by the community, and mayor Mitch Reynolds.
“I love the density of housing that’s being proposed, I love that they’re being very conscientious about the needs for people to have transportation options, for there to be pedestrian access.”
Reynolds is excited about the possibilities of the site, especially due to its location.
“It is really a gateway, in some ways, into the city of La Crosse when you think about the traffic that comes down 33, and that intersection and all the traffic that occurs there, and there’s just such a huge concentration of activity there.”
The plan still needs fine-tuning, and an updated concept is expected in late February. Jeremy Novak says Three Sixty doesn’t want to rush the design process but would like to get a start on construction this year.
“You do want to get something in the ground before frost penetrates because that makes it more challenging, so if we don’t make it by October 1st, it’s probably not going to happen until April 1st of 2023,” said Novak.
Novak is concerned about rising interest rates and continued supply chain backups if construction is delayed to next year. Three Sixty is planning to build affordable, middle-class housing on the site. There will also be several thousand square feet of commercial space for regional and local businesses.