Future of empty Shopko buildings unclear across area

A customer walks outside the Pullman Shopko before the store closed in April. The building has stayed vacant since Shopko closed.

There’s been some discussion that the building that once housed the Pullman Shopko might be split into smaller spaces, but no paperwork has yet been submitted about that plan, said Pete Dickinson, the city of Pullman’s planning director.

“In terms of particular businesses that might go in there, it’s just conjecture at this point,” he said.

The 77,420-square-foot building has been vacant since Shopko closed in April.

It’s a similar situation in Lewiston and Orofino, where Shopko stores were closed recently after the Green Bay, Wis., retailer went bankrupt.

Lewiston’s Shopko building will be auctioned online in a sale that will give the winning bidder ownership of the structure with significant conditions.

Right now the building is owned by an unnamed party that leases the 9-acre site where the store was, including an adjacent parking lot from McCann Ranch & Livestock Co., said Adam Sklaver, the listing broker for the ground lease holder.

That ground lease could potentially be extended until Jan. 31, 2038, but at that time it would expire unless McCann Ranch & Livestock Co. wanted to enter into a new agreement, said Sklaver, who is employed by CBRE brokerage in southern Florida.

If a lease couldn’t be negotiated, the building would go to McCann Ranch & Livestock Co. at that stage, Sklaver said.

McCann Ranch & Livestock Co. owns the other buildings and parking lot in the Shopko development where Sportsman’s Warehouse is located, said Bill McCann Jr., a director of the McCann Ranch & Livestock Co.

The top bidder would also receive the revenue from a $15,246 monthly lease that Shoptikal has through October for the southern portion of the building, Sklaver said.

The optometry practice is continuing to operate despite Shopko’s bankruptcy. It is relocating across the street to 2331 Thain Grade, Suite 101, a space that once housed Quiznos, sometime in late summer or early fall.

What will take Shopko’s place will be decided by the high bidder for the 94,007-square-foot building. The 48-hour auction will be conducted entirely online and will begin midday July 30 and run through Aug. 1.

Bidding starts at $1. The seller has agreed to accept the highest bid regardless of the amount, Sklaver said.

In addition to the offer for the building, the winning bidder will be required to pay auction fees. They will be $20,000 for a bid of $400,000 or less and 5 percent for a bid that is more than $400,000, Sklaver said.

In Orofino, two new pharmacies are filling part of the void left by Shopko. Lewiston’s Hells Canyon Pharmacy opened Clearwater Canyon Pharmacy, while Rod Arnzen added an Orofino location. Arnzen also owns Arnzen’s Super Drug in Cottonwood and Arnzen’s Kamiah Drug.

Community leaders have spoken with representatives of Capital Growth Buchalter, the Birmingham, Ala., based firm that owns the 25,000-square-foot former Shopko Orofino store, said Chris St Germaine, director of Clearwater County Economic Development in Orofino.

The firm has real estate holdings nationwide and works with companies such as Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Dollar General and Panera Bread, according to its website.

Shopko had only been in Orofino since 2017, but had provided a valuable service, selling merchandise such as hats and envelopes, St Germaine said.

The store drew customers from surrounding areas who also spent money at other businesses, such as gas stations and restaurants.

“We’re working pretty aggressively, as much as we can, with our limited budget, to find a replacement,” St Germaine said.

Elaine Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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