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(Beloit, WI) By Hillary Gavan hgavan@beloitdailynews.com 

Beloiters will soon have an opportunity to “shop the Pig.”

Piggly Wiggly closed on the former K-Mart building, 1827 Prairie Ave., on Monday. Gary Seidel, president of Point ONE Commercial Real Estate, marketed the building for two years for the owner, Windmill Hill, based out of Davenport, Iowa.

“I am very enthusiastic about Piggly Wiggly coming to Beloit. Beloit is underserved when it comes to grocers, and that has just gotten worse after Cub Foods left the area, so they will be a welcome addition to the Beloit commercial market,” Seidel said. “The Prairie Avenue corner will only improve, as it is one of Beloit’s busiest intersections. With a busy Walgreen’s, Wahl’s Appliance and with Piggly Wiggly, it should prove to be an excellent retail hub.”

More than 100 jobs will be created in the supermarket and the cost of the project will exceed $4 million. Piggly Wiggly is expected to open by mid-2013.

The approximately 80,000-square-foot building will be subdivided and fully renovated to create a shopping center anchored by a 50,000-square-foot Piggly Wiggly, and six to eight additional small stores.

The plans include space for a junior anchor in the remaining approximately 20,000 square feet.

“We are excited to bring Piggly Wiggly to Beloit,” said Paul Butera, owner of Piggly Wiggly Midwest. “Customers are going to love the weekly specials, the quality and value of our store brand products along with the highest quality bakery, deli, produce and meat products.”

The 80,000-square-foot building is located on eight acres, and has been vacant for 10 years.

Windmill Hill, which operates a number of centers in the Midwest, purchased that building about five years ago. Seidel said the Windmill Hill had plans for development of the former K-Mart building until the economic crash hit. However, Seidel said the problem created the opportunity for Piggly Wiggly to get the site at a very reasonable price.

“I never had a doubt it would sell. Every building can sell given the right price at the right time,” Seidel said.

The new Piggly Wiggly store will offer the same amenities as all Piggly Wiggly’s throughout Wisconsin, including its Pampered to Perfection Produce, bakeries, full-service deli departments, fresh meat departments offering Certified Angus Beef, Gerber Amish Chicken, Farmland Pork, plus fresh and frozen seafood, and a full liquor department.

The Piggly Wiggly Beloit store also will feature a broad variety of imported and domestic themed foods, with emphasis on Hispanic offerings, in addition to the Italian, Asian, German, Polish, African American, Indian and other ethnic and cultural group offerings already available at Piggly Wiggly.

Piggly Wiggly Midwest will now supply 102 Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in the greater Wisconsin and northern Illinois areas, as well as nine Butera Market stores, two Eurofresh stores in the Chicagoland area plus three Lena’s Food stores in the Milwaukee area.

Piggly Wiggly’s headquarters are in Sheboygan, Wis., where it has been operating since 1911, and where its corporate offices and two of its distribution centers operate. A third distribution center is located in Milwaukee. Piggly Wiggly Midwest is the fastest growing grocery wholesaler in the state.

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