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Northwest Salmon



City, WADC sign letter of intent to land Shopko

by Amanda Fanger

The Webster Area Development Corporation announced last week that, in conjunction with the city of Webster, a letter of intent has been signed in attempt to entice Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC into coming to Webster.

The letter promised a financial incentive to the building’s owners should Shopko sign a lease. The incentive would be used for structural improvements of the building which most recently housed ALCO. That store closed in Webster last month.

“We’ve been working real close with the city of Webster to put together a package we think is a very competitive financial incentive,” said WADC president Tom Sannes during a telephone interview March 25. “Our financial incentive is conditional of Shopko signing the lease.”

Sannes went on to say that Shopko could take possession of the building as early as April 1 if an official lease agreement is worked out with the building’s owners by that time.
Roger Bird of Bird Realty & Auction, Inc. of Milbank is the realtor and representative of the building’s owners, MELRJ#3, LLP of Colorado, and confirmed that a final lease signing is anticipated by April 1.

“Everyone wants to get it done. It’s in the attorney’s hands at this moment,” he said. “They’re trying to finalize the lease by April 1.”

Bird went on to say that should an agreement be reached, there would be six to eight weeks worth of construction prior to the opening of business.

In addition to the joint incentive from WADC and the city of Webster for building improvements, according to Webster mayor Mike Grosek and Bird, Shopko would be looking at close to $500,000 in additional renovations.

“We certainly hope it’ll work out,” said Webster Mayor Mike Grosek. “We’re looking forward to having them here... It’s a store we need here in this community.”

Grosek says sales projections show Shopko could potentially generate $3 million in annual retail sales in Webster. That would equate to $60,000 in annual sales tax revenue for the city.

“We’ve been working hard to make it a reality,” Sannes said. “This is a big deal for the city and the county. We’re hoping the community will support it. It’ll be a big part of the city sales tax (revenue) and keeping our dollars in Day County.”

According to Sannes, WADC and the city of Webster have been working to land Shopko since shortly after the announcement of ALCO’s closing.

“It’s been high on our list of priorities,” Sannes said. He continued, “It was not easy, to get a national chain to look at Webster... that’s something in and of itself.”

In recent months Shopko has begun opening stores in towns where ALCO stores were formerly located. According to Bird, in many cases, the retailer is just taking over the lease that ALCO left. In the case of Webster, however, he says it is a brand new lease and terms and conditions must be worked out.

Sannes acknowledged that the signing of the letter of intent is no guarantee that Shopko will set up shop in Webster, but he said, “We take these opportunities seriously. This is all part of the total package for the community. We feel we’ve done all we can. Now it’s in Shopko’s and the owner’s hands.”

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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