Developers of Artist & Fare plan to purchase, renovate former Younkers property in Plover

Caitlin Shuda
Stevens Point Journal

PLOVER – There are big plans for the former Younkers building in Plover.

The village board approved a development agreement Wednesday evening for the building at 1870 Plover Road.

According to village documents, the Lokre Development Co., Roland Lokre and Michael Masgay will purchase the 6.25-acre property by the end of this year. The group will turn the former retail store into a mix of commercial uses, although village documents did not specify the project’s specific plans. The agreement states the developers will need to start making façade improvements by July 1 and have the project completed by the end of 2022.

Masgay said he and Lokre already have tenants lined up for the project.

OTHER: Streetwise: Heavens to Betsy closed temporarily, new Stevens Point Brewery museum exhibit

OTHER: 12 projects aimed at boosting Wisconsin's workforce get $59.5M in federal funds

Lokre and Masgay have worked together on other projects as well, most recently Artist & Fare at the former Shopko building near Younkers.

The pair renovated the old Shopko building in Plover to accommodate a variety of businesses, including a brewery, restaurant, coffee shop, home décor business, gym and more. The project is still underway as tenants are still announcing plans and timelines to move in. Masgay told the Stevens Point Journal in May the project could be complete by the middle of 2022.

Masgay told the Stevens Point Journal Tuesday that while it's too early to announce specific details, the Younkers redevelopment project will "aesthetically be a continuation of Artist & Fare," featuring a couple of larger tenants to be named at a later time.

The village will provide incentives for development on the project, as well. The village will provide $600,000 when the group purchases the property, as well as three annual payments of $100,000, for a total of $900,000 in tax increment revenues. The agreement also states the minimum assessed value of the property will be at least $3 million through 2022, $3.5 million for 2023 and at least $4 million for 2024 and beyond.

Younkers on Plover Road opened as Elder-Beerman in March 2001. Bon-Ton Stores then changed the store’s name to Younkers in August 2008 because the company said customers were more familiar with the Younkers brand. The building has been empty since Younkers closed in 2018 after Bon-Ton Stores filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Contact Caitlin at cshuda@gannett.com or follow her on Twitter @CaitlinShuda.