171128_AUCTION

The front of the former Pick ‘n Save store on Janesville’s south side still has the outline of the sign, which was removed after the store closed in November 2017. A local commercial real estate broker announced Tuesday that the property has been sold to the Jim Grafft family.

JANESVILLE

The former Pick ‘n Save property on Janesville’s south side has sold to a local property owner, a commercial property broker has announced.

Janesville broker Commercial Property Group announced Tuesday that the former Pick ‘n Save at 1717 Center Ave. has been acquired by 1717 4GK, a development group owned by the Jim Grafft family of Janesville.

In a news release, Commercial Property wrote that Milwaukee broker NAI MLG represented the owner, NDC Commercial Real Estate, and Commercial Property represented the Grafft family in the sale.

Commercial Property did not disclose a price, but broker Mike Venable said the sale closed Friday. NAI MLG had listed the property last fall for $3.25 million.

Venable said the “building and the over 18 acres of land at the site offer many potential uses including commercial and retail development, as well as industrial possibilities.”

Venable said the Grafft family “looks forward to putting the building and remaining lands back to use.”

The Pick ‘n Save closed last November after its parent company, Roundy’s, announced it was pulling out of Janesville, saying at the time the store had not performed up to the company’s expectations.

Property owner NDC Commercial Real Estate had put the 21-year-old, 130,000-square-foot store and its property up for sale in October, prior to Pick ‘n Save officially pulling out. The property includes about 18 acres, part of which is a large parking lot along the east side of Center Avenue.

NAI MLG brokers Kevin Schmoldt and Adam Matson last year told The Gazette that it was possible a buyer could cut the parking lot into multiple outlots, potentially for retail development.

At the time, Schmoldt said some types of industrial reuse could require a new owner to have a discussion with city officials, particularly over zoning.

In an interview last week, Economic Development Director Gale Price told The Gazette that he understood the former Pick ‘n Save property was being marketed for light industrial uses with the potential for some retail redevelopment, but he didn’t elaborate.

Price has said it’s unlikely the former store would be reused as a supermarket—at least not by a grocer that would occupy the entire 130,000-square-foot footprint.

Late last year, Pick ‘n Save and Roundy’s, which had leased the space on Center Avenue, held an auction to sell off equipment and other property at the store.

Venable said he wasn’t sure what approach the Grafft family might take, but he said there’s “potential” for “mixed-use” projects at the site.

“It’s all pretty early,” he said. “They (the Grafft family) want to talk with the municipality first and make sure everybody’s on the same page.”

A light industrial or warehousing use could require zoning changes, which the city would have to approve.

Price has said he’d like to see some kind of fresh-food grocery store developed on the south side. He said Pick ‘n Save’s exit creates a “food desert” that could leave potentially thousands of south-side residents without nearby access to affordable, fresh food.

The Gazette was unable to reach Price on Tuesday for comment on the sale.

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