A retail flooring company will be taking over a space at South Towne Mall that has sat vacant for more than two years after the mall’s Shopko location closed its doors in May 2019.
Floor & Decor Outlets of America, Inc., a hard surface flooring and accessories retailer based in Atlanta, GA., received zoning approval this month from the city of Monona for the 2101 W. Broadway lot.
The South Towne space will mark the flooring company’s second location in the state, with the only other Floor & Decor in Wisconsin located just outside Milwaukee.
Floor & Decor, which plans to employ 40 to 50 employees, will occupy over 81,300 sq. ft. of the South Towne strip mall, with approximate operating hours of seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Daniel Kelly, a development associate representing the project, said the company will give the lot a few minor revamps, such as new concrete behind the building and new asphalt across the parking lot. Developers also plan to add an additional 38 canopy trees throughout the property.
Overall, the new development seems to fit in well with the general development plan for the area, with a 2016 comprehensive plan from the city indicating a need for, “big box retailers and smaller national retail and restaurant businesses” at South Towne.
Monona plan commission members, who voted unanimously in favor of the project, expressed excitement that the new addition may help revitalize the commercial landscape of South Towne Mall.
Plan Commission Member Chris Homburg described the addition of Floor & Decor as, “a nice upgrade to the entire area,” with fellow commission member Robert Stein saying the revamp could be an aesthetically pleasing upgrade.
“I think the facelift that [Floor & Decor] is giving this spot is really going to do a lot for that whole commercial area,” Stein said.
Commission members did suggest some potential additions to the development plan, including electric vehicle charging stations and a solar panel array.
Homburg suggested the flooring company install charging stations for electric vehicles along five parking stalls at the southeast end of the parking lot, citing that the plan commission anticipates a boom in electric vehicle use in the future.
“We do ask major redevelopments, and I would consider this [a major redevelopment], to put some conduit out for any electric vehicle charging stations,” Homburg said. “We believe that will be something coming in the future.”
Plan Commission Chair and City Alder Nancy Moore, who also heads the city’s sustainability committee, said that on top of electric vehicle chargers, she hopes the developers will consider the installation of a rooftop solar panel array.
“Monona has a significant commitment to sustainability, and this roof represents the second largest flat roof in the city,” Moore said. “If you were to put solar on that nice flat roof… sitting right there on the beltline… it’s something we’re really looking for in Monona.”
Moore said if Floor & Design were to install a rooftop solar array, it would be the second largest retail solar array in the greater Madison area, with the largest at Smart Motors Toyota on Odana Road in Madison.
As for an official opening date for the store, representatives from Floor & Decor said they are unable to provide any official information or timeline for a grand opening.