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A worker walks the roofline of a new storefront being built in the former Menards off Pontiac Drive in Janesville in this January 2018 file photo. The former Menards has been redeveloped into four storefronts over the last year, and two of the stores are opening this week, the building's owners said.

JANESVILLE

Two new stores are set to open this week in the redeveloped former Menards off Pontiac Drive on Janesville’s north side.

Tara Furst, commercial properties manager for Galway Companies, which owns the property, said that by the end of the week, two tenants in the 72,000-square-foot building will be open for business.

Galway Companies has renamed the multi-tenant building The Marketplace at Janesville.

Furst said specialty pet products and supplies retailer PetSmart planned to open Monday in a 22,000-square-foot storefront on the site, located southeast of the intersection of Pontiac Drive and Humes Road.

Five Below was tentatively scheduled to open today, Furst said. Five Below is a variety retail store aimed at families of preteens and teens. It’s slated in 8,700 square feet of The Marketplace, and an official grand opening is planned for Friday, she said.

JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores tentatively plans to open March 29 in a 19,000-square-foot storefront. The specialty fabrics and crafting supplies retailer is relocating from its current location at Creston Park Mall, city officials have said.

Furst said the three opening dates were the ones most recently provided to Galway Companies.

The fourth store at The Marketplace, Ross Dress For Less, hasn’t announced an opening date. The retailer describes itself as a seller of “bargain” or “off-price” clothing and fashion. Under Galway Companies’ earlier plans, Ross was set to open in a 22,000-square-foot storefront.

Furst said she’s not sure when Ross plans to open, but its occupancy is “going to be a little out yet.”

Madison-based Galway Companies has spent the past year redeveloping the former Menards. The company has worked with the city on a tax-increment financing deal to split up the building into individual storefronts.

It’s the first major retail development the city has spurred through a TIF deal. The city viewed the TIF as a way to transform a blighted property that had sat mostly idle and vacant for years.

The former Menards once had been used as temporary vehicle and inventory storage for tenants and as seasonal retail space before Galway Companies bought it in April 2017, paying $3.2 million for the building and its 15-acre site.

Gale Price, Janesville’s economic development director, said he’s heard only “positive commentary” about the redevelopment.

“That property is at a major entryway to the community. The building was there for years, just rotting away,” Price said. “It just gives the whole corridor there a much better-looking entryway. It’s very exciting to see.”

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