Over the years, southside Kenosha residents have relied on Sunnyside Park shopping center at the corner of 80th Street and 22th Avenue for their daily needs, from groceries and medications to food.

But the shopping center’s future is cloudy; it has been for sale for a number of months, and Piggly Wiggly, the shopping center’s anchor store, closed Aug. 24.

Listed as an investment property for $6.3 million, the center still boasts an array of tenants including a CVS pharmacy, a TCF Bank branch, a Family Dollar store and others.

But there are some empty storefronts, and one former tenant contends the shopping center owner forced him to move out.

Taco City has been in Dante Pignotti’s family for 30 years. Pignotti said he hoped to enhance the restaurant with more amenities and a wider range of menu selections.

Looking forward to re-opening after some renovations, he said he signed a lease with the shopping center, but the owner told him to vacate the premises.

He said “the landlord had failed to do appropriate renovations and is now forcing out tenants.”

The landlord, Brett Katz, a real state company principal with Aries Realty in Illinois, has not responded to numerous attempts for comment.

Broker Matthew Tarshis, an executive vice president and the broker for the prospective sale of the shopping center, also has not responded to requests for comment on the sale, the search for new tenants or other information about the shopping center.

Some tenants happy

Despite the loss of some stores, some of the tenants are optimistic that the shopping center will continue to thrive.

“We’re not going anywhere. We love it,” said Steve Ocacio, an associate with EZ Pack ‘N Ship. “We look forward to when Lou Perrine locates here. It’s a thing we look forward to.”

Perrine has proposed a new gas station and convenience store near the shopping center.

Frank Zheng, owner of New China restaurant, said he has regular customers, some of whom frequent other stores in the shopping center.

While Zheng said he was sad to see Piggly Wiggly leave because it was a magnet that attracted neighborhood customers, he has no plans of leaving.

Real listing material reveals that some of the existing tenants have signed lease extensions. CVS Pharmacy recently signed a five-year extension through November 2023.

Other tenants also said they have established relationships with frequent customers and look for a continuation of their business success.

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