A new tenant is coming up at a prime retail spot at State Street. A new 7-Eleven convenience store is being planned at State and Lake streets just across the State Street Mall and Walgreen's. The store has no plans to sell gas but plans to cater to foot traffic that largely comprises of students and others associated with UW Madison.
Franchisee of 16 Wisconsin 7-Eleven Stores, Jim Fiene said last week that the new store opens at 673 State St regardless of whether he gets the license to sell alcoholic beverages or not. This project is on lines with Kwik Trip Store which opened in 2014 without gas on the ground level of the varsity quarters. It is a six story 129 bed apartment building at 1423 Monroe St. The 7-Eleven application has come at a time when Mayor Paul Slogin has tried to reject plans for most alcohol licenses on State Street to leave more room for retailers.
According to Mark Woulf, the city’s food and alcohol policy director, the sale of alcohol is unlikely because the city's zoning code prohibits retail alcohol sales at that location. Alcohol License Review Committee was presented with the license request on Wednesday. Fiene says it is an offering that's not really been done on State Street.
Fiene is the owner of other 7-Eleven stores in Madison. It includes those on Regent Street, South Park Street, University Avenue and at Todd Drive and the Beltline. He also has 7-Eleven locations near the UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University campuses. In addition two more 7-Eleven stores along the Beltline are expected to be added.
The site at the intersection of State and Lake streets is one of the busiest places with students flocking and have also been home to UW Bookstore’s Digital Outpost and before that, Brown’s Book Shop. The neighboring College Barber Shop closed down in 2014 and is being converted into Forage Kitchen. A restaurant from the same owners as Roast Public House, 558 State St. Forage is scheduled to open in mid-October says owner Doug Hamaker.
Fiene believes his experience on college campuses made him believe that convenience store on State Street would be feasible. He says the cost per foot is high and it is one of the premier places. The focus is on food and State Street needs food that is quick and is open 24 hours a day. The store was covered with plywood as crews worked on the interior of the building last week. The store should open in late October.