ST. CLOUD -- As the two Shopko stores in St. Cloud wrap-up their last days of business, work is underway to find buyers for the buildings. St. Cloud Economic Development Director Cathy Mahelich was on the News @ Noon Show talking about their future.

She says because they are private property there's not a lot the city can do, but she has offered as much assistance as possible.

Our role is really to help facilitate for the opportunities of the private reinvestment and the reuse and redevelopment of those facilities into something that can be compatible in the neighborhood.  Usually, the first step in that is finding out who is the key decision maker in that process, or who is the listing agent, because when you're talking about national retailers they are not local.

Mahelich says in the case of a bankruptcy, like Shopko, it becomes even more difficult to find the right person to work with.

She says in many other cities where a major retailer has left those buildings are often turned into something besides a store, like Essentia Health going into an old Younkers store up in Duluth, a call center, or some sort of mixed-use development.

The listing agent for the two Shopko Buildings declined to comment to WJON for this story.

The Shopko East store is scheduled to close in the next week or so, while the west location will be open for about another month.

The Shopko East building is listed at just of 90,000 square feet and the west locations is a little larger at over 100,000 square feet.

Meanwhile, work continues to find a new use for another major former retail space, the old Herberger's store in downtown St. Cloud.

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