Goodwill announces opening date for Middleton store that is LEED certified

January 5, 2019
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The transformation of a former Copps Food Center on Century Avenue in Middleton into a Goodwill store and donation center is nearing completion. Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin has announced the 14,000-square-foot store will open Feb. 15.

A long vacant former grocery story building in Middleton is about to come back to life.

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin has announced that it will open a 14,000-square-foot, energy efficient store and donation center at 6280 Century Ave. that will include increased natural light and roof-top solar panels.

The now LEED certified building was vacated by Copps Food Center in 2005 after the company opened a 45,000-square-foot grocery store in Middleton Hills a few blocks away. The store is now a Pick’n Save but the former Copps building has sat vacant for about 14 years. Goodwill, however, has repurposed the building into its 12th store in south central Wisconsin.

“The growth (of Goodwill’s) retail operation fuels the expansion of community services for people with barriers to employment throughout the 14 counties we serve,” said Vicki Holschuh, CEO of Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin. “We’re very proud of the LEED certification, which is a wonderful expression of our commitment to sustainability.”

The store and donation center is scheduled to open Feb. 15 and employ 25 to 30 people. Positions include receiving, sorting and pricing donated items, stocking the floor and cashiering. Goodwill opened a donation center in 2009 in a strip mall at 6661 University Ave. but that location will close once the new store and donation center opens, Holschuh said.

Goodwill has been on a rapid expansion in south central Wisconsin.

Holschuh, who came to Madison in 2015, has more than 40 years of retail experience, about half of that with Milwaukee-based Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. The UW-Whitewater graduate helped grow the Milwaukee operation, which also covers Chicago, to more than 60 stores. When she arrived in 1997, Goodwill had nine stores in that region. Since Holschuh took the helm at Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin, the Monona store has been remodeled and a former Walmart store in Stoughton was transformed into a Goodwill store and donation center that opened in March 2018.

In September 2017, Goodwill opened a 22,000-square-foot store and donation center in a long-vacant space in the Northside TownCenter. The $1.8 million in improvements to the new North Side store, 2901 N. Sherman Ave., included upgrades to air and heat systems, the parking lot and the addition of LED lighting, five dressing rooms and a covered drop-off port at the front of the building. Donations are sorted, inspected and tagged in a large processing center on the south end of the building, while storage and loading docks are on the building’s east side.

The Middleton store is undergoing a similar transformation. The 3.7 acre property was proposed for redevelopment in 2007 and ultimately became home to Dane County’s first CVS Pharmacy. A bank was later added but the 30,000-square-foot grocery store building remained empty. The renovation into a Goodwill store included removing part of the building, adding parking that fronts Century Avenue and adding a drive-up drop-off to the building’s north side.

“The retailers that are really succeeding and continuing to grow and are very strong are the Ross (Dress for Less) stores, the Marshalls and T.J. Maxx,” Holschuh said in 2017 when the North Side Goodwill store opened. “What we have in common with them is that it’s the thrill of the hunt. You never know what you’re going to find. It’s the treasures and that fun value. And it’s cheap.”

Other Dane County Goodwill locations include Sun Prairie, Fitchburg and in Madison at 4530 Verona Road and 2127 East Springs Drive. Stores can also be found in Platteville, Richland Center, Portage and Fort Atkinson.