By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jul 15, 2022 at 12:11 PM

Jokingly called "the worst kept secret in Milwaukee," Kohl's today officially announced a new store location moving into the former Downtown Boston Store at the corner of Wisconsin and Vel R. Phillips Avenues.

New Downtown Kohl'sX

The new Kohl's – the first Downtown location for the Menomonee Falls-based department store brand – will take up approximately 40,000 square feet, featuring an entrance leading into the 3rd Street Market Hall next door and "a Sephora presence," according to Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass at Friday's announcement. 

"We've been part of the community for more than 60 years, but we've never had a Downtown presence," Gass said. "Now is the time."

The Downtown store's footprint is smaller than the brand's familiar department stores and mall anchors – according to Gass, a purposeful part of the company's new growth strategy including around 100 similar new stores coming across the nation in the upcoming four to five years. 

New Downtown Kohl'sX

"We couldn't be more excited to be here," Gass said. "We have deep roots in the Milwaukee community. We're thrilled about the revitalization efforts that are happening here – and that Kohl's gets to be a part of it."

"As mayor of the great city of Milwaukee, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome this iconic Wisconsin brand to Downtown Milwaukee," said Mayor Cavalier Johnson at Friday's announcement. "As a lifelong resident of this city, I'm sure that all of us share memories about Kohl's – going to Kohl's with family, going on shopping trips for back-to-school, spending Kohl's Cash. It really has become part of the way of life for folks not just in the city of Milwaukee but in the region, in the state and indeed across the country. So the decision that Kohl's has made to open up shop in Downtown Milwaukee is extremely, extremely fitting."

New Downtown Kohl'sX

The Downtown space was most famously the home of the iconic Boston Store complex, going as far back as the turn of the 20th century. After more than a century on the corner, however, the retailer closed the location – along with all of its physical stores – in 2018 amidst the company's financial woes. Since then, while pieces of the historic Boston Store headquarters have turned into apartments and other office spaces, the first floor has remaining vacant – until now. 

The new Kohl's location marks the latest high-profile develepment on the Westown side of Downtown Milwaukee, with 3rd Street Market Hall opening in the former main Grand Avenue Mall space this past January, the glossy new Bradley Symphony Center found in the long-empty Warner Grand Theater, plans for a streetcar plaza in the lot across from the upcoming Kohl's, the $420 million convention center expansion, and the new soccer and live music venue set near Marquette University. 

The new Kohl's store is expected to open in fall of 2023. For more updates, stay tuned to OnMilwaukee.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.