A dormant Sturgeon Bay centerpiece building is coming back to life.
Sturgeon Bay business owners Todd Trimberger and Dr. Kelton Reitz have purchased the former Younkers building and will move their existing Jefferson Street business, Bliss, into the building this fall.
“The HC Prange/Younkers building has been an anchor in our downtown,” Trimberger said. “The loss of this vibrant business has impacted our community greatly.”
It will now be home to Bliss, a staple of Jefferson Street since 2001, which offers home furnishings and holiday décor, and other accessories. Trimberger and Reitz hope to expand offerings at the new location.
Pam Seiler, Executive Director of Destination Sturgeon Bay, had originally brought up the idea to Trimberger and Dr. Reitz.
“We kept telling her she was crazy,” Trimberger said. “This is truly an organic situation that will now evolve and further develop because we can share this project with the community. It is really happening and moving forward!”
Construction on the 3rd Avenue building will begin immediately. Trimberger and Dr. Reitz plan to open the ceiling on the front half of the building to expose the mezzanine to the lower level. In addition, a new roof, windows and HVAC will be installed.
“We feel like the exterior is pretty iconic in our downtown so we will renew it and refresh it,” Trimberger said. In addition, they are planning to install a public restroom near the Louisiana entrance in partnership with the City of Sturgeon Bay.
Trimberger and Reitz believe that the project can create a sense of hope for the Sturgeon Bay community and help increase tourism once travel bans are lifted.
“We feel that in these unsettling times, it might be a ray of positive sunshine,” Trimberger said. “We decided to push forward with the project and start the process as soon as possible to create jobs.”