EagleHerald/Penny Mullins
Ross Dress for Less will move into the Pine Tree Mall in the open area between Kohl’s and Planet Fitness. A presentative of the company appeared before the Marinette Plan Commission Wednesday seeking approval for the signs that will be placed in the storefront. No timeline was given for the store’s opening.
EagleHerald/Penny Mullins

Ross Dress for Less will move into the Pine Tree Mall in the open area between Kohl’s and Planet Fitness. A presentative of the company appeared before the Marinette Plan Commission Wednesday seeking approval for the signs that will be placed in the storefront. No timeline was given for the store’s opening.

MARINETTE — Pine Tree Mall is getting a new clothing store and a new outlot building, while the empty Shopko store across the way on Roosevelt Road may be turned into retail shops in the front and controlled climate storage units in the back.

Members of the Plan Commission approved a request Wednesday for signs at the Ross Dress for Less store, which is slated to open in the mall between Kohl’s and Planet Fitness, and approved initial site plans for new construction of an outlot building in the area next to the existing Starbucks.

Ross Stores Inc., operating under the brand name Ross Dress for Less, is an American chain of discount department stores headquartered in Dublin, California. It is the largest off-priced retailer in the U.S. and has stores in Green Bay, Appleton and Oshkosh. It was not announced when the Marinette store is slated to open.

In a separate matter, Adam Stein of Logic Design & Architecture, Milwaukee, told the commission about plans to construct a new free-standing building north of Starbucks, but did not disclose who would fill it. Stein said the building would be similar in size to the one Starbucks occupies, which has space for two businesses. The other section of the building Starbucks occupies is still empty, he said.

There were questions from the commission about the company’s plans for landscaping and lighting, which Stein said he would provide at a followup meeting. He said he was looking to expedite approval from the state and city in order to meet a late spring delivery.

Tom Moyle of Moyle Construction, Houghton, Michigan, spoke to the commission about his company’s plans to turn the former Shopko building into a controlled climate storage business in the back and a retail area in the front.

“It would be a strip mall in the front,” he told the commission, describing the retail area as “small” with more than half of the building accessible from the back for storage.

He was asked what size units would be available.

“Five by fives, 5 X 10s, 5 X 20s, — whatever people want,” he said. “They can drive in to a secure, climate controlled area. It’s nice loading and unloading.”

In order to make the conversion, Moyle needs changes to the City of Marinette Zoning Code, specifically adding wording to allow, as conditional use, indoor climate controlled storage facilities in a B-4 Highway Business Zoning District.

Mayor Steve Genisot said the city’s zoning code already allows for that use in B1- B2 and B3 districts, but that B4 doesn’t contain the same language.

The Plan Commission unanimously approved a motion recommending that the city council take the proper steps, which include holding a public hearing, to change the zoning code language.

“This sounds like a good use for Shopko,” said Plan Commission member Tom Crowley.

Moyle already owns and has constructed several businesses in the area, including Harbors Retirement Community in Menominee and the Wisconsin Maritime Center for Excellence, the Country Inn and Suites by Radisson and Independence Stay, all in Marinette.