Goodwill proposed for Northside Town Center

Goodwill Industries is eyeing 22,000 square feet of vacant space in the Northside Town Center.

A large retail space on the city's North Side that has been vacant for nearly 15 years may soon have a tenant. 

Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin has agreed to lease 22,000 square feet of space in what had been home to a 48,000-square-foot Kohl's grocery store at 2901 N. Sherman Ave. in the Northside Town Center.

In a letter to the city's Urban Design Commission, Goodwill is proposing to spend $1 million to renovate the interior of the store, make upgrades to the facade and add a community room that can be used for meetings and as a polling place. A new canopy would protect customers from inclement weather when making donations. 

"The existing setting of the vacant space is dark and uninviting," Charles Haas, Goodwill's owner representative, wrote in a letter to the commission. "The proposed revisions will create a welcoming space that complements the surrounding area. The facade improvements have been inspired by the recent Willy-Street Co-op enhancements while still providing for the uniqueness that is the Goodwill brand."

If approved, it would be the second major addition to the shopping center in less than a year. In August, Willy Street Co-op invested $2.7 million to renovate a 20,000-square-foot space that for 10 years had been home to Pierce's North Side Market until its closing in May 2016.

The Kohl's at Northside Town Center closed in 2003, leaving the neighborhood without a grocery store until 2006 when Pierce's opened.

The space was eyed a year ago by Peter Robertson, founder of RP's Pasta Co. Robertson wanted to spend $2.5 million to renovate up to 40,000 square feet of space so he could move his growing pasta company from its tight quarters at 1133 E. Wilson St. That plan, however, never materialized. RP's instead has joined with Yumbutter and a Colorado snack food business to form Tribe 9 Foods, which hopes to locate on the Southeast Side.

Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin was founded in 1962 in Madison, serves 14 counties, has a career center in Fitchburg and operates 10 retail and donation centers. Dane County locations include Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Middleton, Monona and in Madison at 4530 Verona Road and 2127 East Springs Drive.

Send retail-related tips and story ideas to badams@madison.com or call Barry Adams at 608-252-6148.

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Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.