After Oneida Co. passes on Petco property, leaders look to other optionsSubmitted: 04/19/2019
Story By Ben Meyer

After Oneida Co. passes on Petco property, leaders look to other options
RHINELANDER - On Tuesday, Oneida County decided against buying the Petco property on Rhinelander's west side.

Its buildings have been mostly empty since the business, once owned by Drs. Foster and Smith, closed last month and laid off almost 300 employees.

The county was considering using part of the massive warehouse as a new highway shop. That idea fell through, but there's still interest from other buyers for the $4 million property.

"It's very important, and we're going to be here to work with any interested party to help facilitate the information," said Stacey Johnson, the executive director of the Oneida Co. Economic Development Corporation.

Johnson briefly served on a committee considering whether the county should buy the property and use it as a new highway shop.

This week, the county disbanded the group after only a few weeks in existence. But Oneida Co. could still have a role to play.

"We've seen it with other buildings, so there's no reason that this building would be any different," Johnson said.

In 2016, Oneida Co. approved a $15 million loan for paper producer Expera, now Ahlstrom Munksjo, to move into Rhinelander's old Printpack building on Kemp St. The company opened new paper lines in a building that had been vacant for two years.

"Bringing jobs, improving the economy, and make use of a building that was literally a dinosaur," Oneida Co. Board Chair Dave Hintz said at the time.

We're still a ways away from something like that for the Petco property. But Johnson is confident there's a business use for the complex.

"I don't think anyone wants to see that building sit empty," she said.

Petco representatives in San Diego didn't respond to a message Friday seeking to learn more about interest the company has gotten in the property.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


MENASHA - The Winnebago County District Attorney's office says an officer's use of deadly force in Menasha was justified.

Police fatally shot 43-year-old Shawn Blowers outside his apartment on June 25. Officers were executing a search warrant for child pornography at the apartment.

+ Read More

KINGSTON, MO - A man charged with tampering with a vehicle used by two Wisconsin brothers who are missing and presumed dead in Missouri has waived his right to a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial.

Court records show that 25-year-old Garland Nelson was ordered to be arraigned Oct. 7 after foregoing his right to a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Monday.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Bikers leaving the annual Tomahawk Fall Ride made one last stop before heading out of town Sunday.

Deep in the woods, past a long narrow bridge, lies a 35-foot castle in Tomahawk.

Peter Kelley started building the castle more than 30 years ago. Every year he opens it up to the public during the Fall Ride weekend.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - NFL Sundays mean intense football, good food, and a lot of drinks.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - An unlikely mix of fans bonded today at one local sports bar. 

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Hundreds of thousands of Germans immigrated to the badger state in the 19th century. On Saturday, people in the Northwoods raised their glasses to Wisconsin's German heritage.

Hundreds of people came to Three Lakes for the town's 4th annual Oktoberfest celebration.

The event featured traditional music, dancing, games and even a sauerkraut eating competition. And of course, there was plenty of good food and beer.

"We have a lot of heritage here," said event organizer Heather Biro. "It gives people the exposure to see there are some ethnic restaurants here in the Northwoods. Everything is made from scratch and they get to have a little taste of it today."

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Winter is approaching, and that means farmers have to prepare for severe weather coming their way.

+ Read More
+ More General News