KASSON - The former ShopKo store in Kasson has new owners with plans to sweeten the town’s retail mix by transforming it into a commercial center.

Rochester developers Brad Clemens and Pat Adamson, under the corporate name of A.C.S. of Kasson LLC, purchased the 36,000-square-foot building at 301 Mantorville Ave. South for $1.2 million on May 27.

The duo purchased the complex, which has been empty since the ShopKo store closed in 2019, from the First Commonwealth Bank of Indiana, Pa.

Clemens, who took down the Shopko signage on Thursday, says the plan is to divide the six-year-old building into eight to 12 tenant spaces to create a commercial strip center.

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“We have some pretty good prospects lined up. There is a specialty ice cream shop that’s almost finalized,” he said. “We’re hoping for a restaurant and more retail. There’s also a bank that’s potentially interested.”

Clemens and Adamson are crafting a plan to create their own climate-controlled storage business in a back area of the complex.

If nothing unexpected happens, look for construction to start in July with the ice cream shop possibly opening in August and the storage business launching in September.

Why develop a project like this in Kasson?

“We think it's a great community to be in,” said Clemens.

A similar project is underway in northeast Rochester, where Mike Haley is dividing up a 90,000-square-foot former Shopko building into three spaces to house Haley Comfort Systems, a new restaurant by Rochester’s Creative Cuisine group and a third spot for a future retail tenant.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 507-285-7798.