Marketplace continues a legacy in Sturgeon Bay

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 2:23 PM CST
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STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After sitting vacant for more than two years, a century-old department store building in Sturgeon Bay has come back to life.

Its history as a retail shopping destination at the corner of North Third Avenue and Louisiana Street dates back more than 140 years, from the Washburn Company to H.C. Prange to eventually Younkers.

“We wanted to do this as part of a legacy, that we save this building and become part of the history of this building,” says Todd Trimberger, owner of Bliss, a home accessories store.

After Younkers closed in 2018, Trimberger and his partner, a local doctor, purchased the building with a vision to create The Marketplace.

“What we want to create is if you think of a department store, like this was, but every department is complimentary, but they’re their own point of sale, they staff it themselves and we work together like a village so to speak,” explains Trimberger.

So last spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, construction crews got busy.

“We had about a 45 second conversation about stopping and then we decided no, Sturgeon Bay, our community, needs something to focus on so we dug into it with Bayland Builders and a bunch of other subs and here we are, seven months and one week later we opened this store,” says Trimberger.

Joining Trimbergers’s Bliss in the 32,000 square foot building are Lola May’s and Monticello, which sell women’s clothing and gifts.

A boutique salon is set to open next month.

Already, Trimberger says he’s been blown away by the community support and appreciation.

“You’re going to get me all teary-eyed, it’s just gratitude, people are so grateful that this building was saved and not bulldozed. We think the building is really happy, to be sparkling and shiny again and alive and vibrant,” says Trimberger with a smile.

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