The Ripon Commonwealth Press will count down the top-10 stories in Ripon from 2022 with two stories a day, culminating with the top stories Dec. 31.

Here is the No. 2 story from 2022:

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The exterior of Ripon’s former Kmart has received a fresh coat of paint as work has begun toward redeveloping the blighted property. A tarp also has been placed over the building’s old sign.

Kmart building receives new life thanks to Rogers family

RCC set to purchase Royal Ridges

The old Kmart building, which has sat vacant since the store closed in December 2019, received new life in August when Tom and Debbie Rogers purchased it with the hopes of making it a mixed-use development.

Initial plans for the development included possibly a church, storefronts and storage. Ripon Community Church (RCC) was in talks to possibly utilize the space, but announced earlier this month that it has a purchase agreement in place with the Ripon Hotel Group to buy Royal Ridges. The sides now are in a 90-day due diligence process before closing the sale.

Rogers told the Commonwealth in August that a major industrial company is looking to use the back end for storage.

He said the deal with that company has been finalized, but he could not disclose what business will utilize that space.

In terms of the storefronts, he noted the number of retailers who could occupy the space could fluctuate between three and four. The tentative plan was to have all of the storefronts utilize the bathrooms that already exist from when the building was a Kmart.

Rogers also said in August that a body-building business is interested in potentially using a storefront space, as well as an antique business.

“I have to put storefronts in here because this is listed as a commercial property with the city,” he said at the time, adding that what specific businesses will operate in the storefront space remain “totally” in flux.

Both the mixed-use development of the old Kmart building and RCC’s move to Royal Ridges figure to continue to play out in 2023.

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