STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- The new Mid-State Technical College facility is a big part of a redevelopment involving the former Centerpoint Marketplace Mall. MSTC occupies the former JC Penney’s west anchor along with a large portion of west mall. Stevens Point Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski says with Shopko remaining where they were, MSTC’s new site, and the former Dunham’s Sports portion occupied by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, there’s not much left to finish at this site. “We do have a little bit left. We’re going to be finishing up the parking lot, which is just south of Great Lakes. They are actually in their facility and operational, and so we’ve got a parking lot to finish to the south of them, but other than that, we’ve really filled up the space for the former mall area as well as a number of businesses on Main Street and throughout the entire downtown. There’s very few vacancies left.”
Ostrowski says this redevelopment had some challenges, but the big boost was getting referendum approval to go ahead with the demolition of the mall and make these changes. He says the downtown is much stronger now. “I think a number of projects that have helped them pull a lot of energy back to downtown, not only with Mid-State, with Great Lakes but with a lot of unique opportunities with the revitalization of the downtown square and the farmer’s market, a lot of people are finding out that downtown is once again the place to be for entertainment for business downtown.”
Some existing Main Street businesses are making investments to improve their properties as well.
Ostrowski says Stevens Point is still looking for development projects to infill several business district openings and they’re looking for large new businesses for East Park Commerce Center, where the first development by Service Cold Storage is nearly complete. “They are occupying the building currently right now, and they will be having their grand opening a little bit later this month, so they are set to open very quickly here.”