Southland Center (Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin)

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Coordinates: 42°42′01″N 87°51′20″W / 42.70019°N 87.85567°W / 42.70019; -87.85567

Southland Center
General information
TypeShopping center
Location2710 South Green Bay Road
Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin
Construction started2000
OwnerSouthland Center Investors LLC[1]
Technical details
Floor area88,821 square feet (8,251.7 m2)[2]

Southland Center is a shopping center located at 2710 South Green Bay Road in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, just outside the city limits of Racine. The center contains three retail spaces, currently occupied by Barnes & Noble #2037, Dick's Sporting Goods #4403, and Best Buy #29. The building was constructed in 2000, on the site of the former Menard Plaza, anchored by a Menards home improvement store, which opened in 1985 and moved out in 1998.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1930, the land that now makes up Southland Center was part of a farm owned by F. Sewell.[3]

Menard Plaza (1985–1998)[edit | edit source]

Prior to 1985, the property where Menard Plaza would be built was owned by the Racine County government. The county sold the land to the Menards chain of home improvement stores in January 1985 for $500,000, to help finance improvements to the Racine harbor.[4][5] However, the Mount Pleasant plan commission questioned whether a building supply store with an attached lumberyard was "compatible as a neighbor to a regional shopping mall", and recommended that Menards' permit be denied, a decision which Racine County Executive Leonard Ziolkowski angrily described as "unbelievable".[6] In response to widespread criticism over its decision, the commission agreed to provide Menards with a list of 28 conditions its store would need to meet to gain the commission's approval,[7] which were later reduced to 25. One of these conditions was that the town would be allowed to construct a road (Timber Drive) along the southern end of the property, connecting Green Bay Road to Stewart-McBride Park to the west. The town board then approved the store's construction on February 25.[8]

The Menards store, the 31st location in the chain, opened on November 11, 1985. The 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) store was accompanied by 8,000 square feet (740 m2) of additional retail space,[9] which was developed into Menard Plaza. In 1986, Sound Decisions moved to the plaza from 1922 Lathrop Avenue in Racine,[10] and an American Speedy Printing Center franchise[11] and a Cost Cutters Family Hair Care Shop opened there.[12] A Pewaukee Mattress location opened in the plaza in November 1987.[13]

Menards began building its new Racine-area store at 3101 South Oakes Road in 1997.[14] Menards moved into the new location in November 1998,[15] and the plaza's other tenants left around the same time, leaving the building vacant.

Southland Center (2000–present)[edit | edit source]

Nifong Realty of Green Bay, Wisconsin developed a new, larger shopping center to replace Menard Plaza, which was demolished. Nifong's original proposal to the Mount Pleasant town board included Dick's Sporting Goods, Circuit City, and Borders Books, but Borders was outbid for the space by Barnes & Noble by the time Southland Center was publicly announced in March 2000.[16]

Dick's Sporting Goods #4403 was the first store to open in the new center, with a soft opening on October 6, 2000, followed by a grand opening ceremony on October 15.[17] Circuit City #3177 held a soft opening in the northernmost retail space in the center on November 16, with its official opening the following day, putting it just feet away from the chain's largest competitor, Best Buy #29 at 2630 South Green Bay Road.[18] Barnes & Noble #2037 filled the center when it opened in the southernmost space on November 22.[19]

The Circuit City chain declared bankruptcy in 2009, and its Southland Center location along with hundreds of others closed on March 8 of that year.[20] Best Buy #29 moved into the space of its former neighbor and competitor, despite the smaller size of the Circuit City space.[21] Best Buy opened at Southland Center on October 21, 2009.[22]

In May 2019, the Dick's Sporting Goods location was converted into a clearance outlet store, one of three in the Dick's chain. The outlet no longer sells sporting goods, now specializing in unsold clothing from other Dick's locations sold on clearance. The Racine Journal Times suggested that Dick's made the change in response to new competition from the Dunham's Sports sporting goods store in Regency Mall across the street, which opened in 2015.[23]

Tenants[edit | edit source]

Menard Plaza[edit | edit source]

Southland Center[edit | edit source]

Space A: 24,043 square feet (2,233.7 m2)[2]

Space B: 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2)[2]

Space C: 34,778 square feet (3,231.0 m2)[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 2710 GREEN BAY RD S, Racine County Ascent Land Records Suite, retrieved September 18, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 SOUTHLAND SHOPPING CENTER", Lee & Associates.
  3. Racine County Map Book, 1930, p. 5.
  4. Hill, Mike. "Menard deal approved", Racine Journal Times, January 23, 1985, page 3A.
  5. Hill, Mike. "Sale OK: County land money to go to harbor", Racine Journal Times, January 9, 1985, front page.
  6. Metro, Gary. "Menard's undesirable?: Permit denial angers exec", Racine Journal Times, February 5, 1985, front page.
  7. Metro, Gary. "Town planning: Action makes Menard's OK easier", Racine Journal Times, February 19, 1985, page 3A.
  8. Metro, Gary. "Menard's gets OK", Racine Journal Times, February 26, 1985, front page.
  9. Pfankuchen, David. "Business Bits: Menard's sets opening date", Racine Journal Times, October 31, 1985, page 4B.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Advertisement, Racine Journal Times, December 12, 1985, page 5C.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Business Today: New Fast-Print Store Opens", Racine Journal Times, August 25, 1986, page 5B.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Business Today: Hair Care Shop Opens", Racine Journal Times, October 8, 1986, page 5B.
  13. Advertisement, Racine Journal Times, November 11, 1987, page 11A.
  14. Scolaro, Joseph A. "Developers put Wal-Mart center at Menard's site", Racine Journal Times, November 5, 1997.
  15. Sumner Coon, Laura. "The shopping begins: Wal-Mart opens its Supercenter", Racine Journal Times, October 29, 1998, page 1C.
  16. Burke, Michael. "Old Menards site is set for three major retailers", Racine Journal Times, March 8, 2000.
  17. Burke, Michael. "Dick's puts the ball in play", Racine Journal Times, October 15, 2000.
  18. Burke, Michael. "Circuit City officially open today", Racine Journal Times, November 17, 2000, page 8A.
  19. Burke, Michael. "Area's largest bookstore's doors open", Racine Journal Times, November 22, 2000, page 8A.
  20. Burke, Michael. "Local Circuit City store closes with barren shelves, bitterness", Racine Journal Times, March 9, 2009.
  21. "Best Buy to open in former Circuit City soon", Racine Journal Times, September 21, 2009.
  22. Burke, Michael. "Fuel-efficient parking available at Best Buy", Racine Journal Times, November 17, 2009.
  23. Burke, Michael. "Dick's Sporting Goods now a clothing clearance outlet", Racine Journal Times, August 12, 2019.