Sussex building boom continues
3rd development, cannery project, possible in 2013
Village of Sussex - The commercial development boom in Sussex is likely to continue into the first quarter of 2013 according to village officials who believe there is the possibility of a third development proposal late this year or early next year.
Village Administrator Jeremy Smith expressed optimism last week that Brookfield developer Art Sawall may soon be ready to begin the approval process for his proposal for a multi-use development at the corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue on the old Mammoth Springs Cannery Company site.
Village officials are already in the process of approving a 200,000-square-foot grocery and household goods super center to be developed by the Meijer Company of Grand Rapids, Mich. on the southeast corner of highways K and 164.
In addition, Michael Mooney, chairman of the board of the Brookfield-Milwaukee based NAI/MLG, has said they are preparing a new proposal for a commercial park to be developed on the former Meissner Farm near Silver Spring Road and Highway 164.
Mooney said last week that the new proposal leaves unanswered the question of whether the village or NAI/MLG would purchase the 120 acres of farmland.
A proposal offered earlier this year by NAI/MLG did not have majority support of the Village Board partly because it would have required the village to buy the land, pay for public improvements such as sewer and water utilities, and then lease the land to MLG for development.
A new plan that called for NAI/MLG to buy the land instead of the village purchasing it might be more warmly received by village trustees, according to some Village Hall sources.
Mooney said the new proposal will be designed to reduce some of the development costs that were included in the original proposal. Those higher-than-anticipated costs prompted NAI/MLG to withdraw the project shortly after it was presented to the Village Plan Commission.
Mooney declined to go into detail about what changes are included in the new proposal.
Smith said the Mammoth Spring Cannery proposal might take precedent over the NAI/MLG proposal if Sawall can complete negotiations with some private land owners who own property on the north side of Main Street, adjacent to the cannery company land.
The successful negotiations are necessary in order for Sawall and the village to acquire right-of-way necessary to the move the Waukesha County Bug Line Recreational Trail off of the cannery site and reroute Spring Creek.
The rerouting of the creek is essential to meeting Department of Natural Resources requirements and is being planned in conjunction with the reconstruction of Main Street. Moving the Bug Line is necessary in order to facilitate development on the old cannery property, according to village officials.
Smith said he did not want schedule public hearings for the Sawall proposal and the MLG/NAI development during the holiday season.
"As far as the staff goes, we can do our work during the holiday season but I don't think it is good idea to be conducting public hearings at that time," he said.
A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Community Center on a proposed conditional use and land use map change necessary for approval of Meijer project.
Village Trustees say that, so far, they have not heard any opposition to the project from village residents. However, some Town of Lisbon residents who live near the proposed super center site have expressed "concerns" about the additional traffic, noise, light pollution and potential increase in crime as a result of the super center that would 24-7, according to the development proposal.
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