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APPLETON – The Appleton Common Council approved a special use permit Wednesday night for a car wash to move into part of the old Shopko building.

The building, at 1000 W. Northland Ave., sat empty for more than three years after Shopko went bankrupt in 2019 and closed all of its stores. The Appleton building is part of the Northland Mall complex.

Property developer Mays and Company has applied for permission to build a Zips car wash on about half of the 113,000 square foot building. It would include two car wash tunnels, indoor waiting areas for cars and around 35 indoor vacuum stations.

The car wash entrance and exit would be on the west side of the building, closest to Festival Foods. The proposed hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

The council passed the permit approval motion 8-4, getting just two-thirds of the vote needed for passage.

The Planning Commission approved the request at its August 10 sending it to the council.

Car washing says it has over 200 locations across the country. Four are in Wisconsin — in Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Saukville and Sheboygan.

Since Shopko went out of business, some old stores have been revamped.

AFTER: Shopko’s bankruptcy left more than 300 stores vacant. More and more are turning to new uses

AFTER: Neenah offers $950,000 to support redevelopment of former Shopko store for retail tenants

Contact Larry Gallup at (920) 996-7216 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @LarryGallup.