Village of Sussex- Brookfield entrepreneur/developer Arthur Sawall had to deal with banks and bureauracies in order to get approvals for his Mammoth Springs residential and retail development at the corner of Waukesha Avenue and Main Street. Now, in order to build it, he has to cope with an unusually harsh winter.
But Sawall says despite the sub zero temperatures and the seemingly constant snow falls the project is on schedule.
He anticipates that his first half dozen, or so, tenants will move into the first building by mid March. He anticipates the second apartment building to be finished in time for tenants in May.
When completed, the development, which will be built in phases or a yet to be determined number of years, is expected to include five buildings with 150 one and two bed room apartments along with two retail and commercial structures.
Horizon Construction was able to complete the exterior work on the two residential buildings in time this year to permit interior work to occur during the winter months, according to Sawall.
"They had a schedule to meet and, so far, they have met it," Sawall said.
Over the past two weekends, Sawall has taken Village trustees and other village officials on a tour of the building expected to be completed in March. He has also been showing the building to prospective tenants.
"I amazed at what you have been able to accomplish," Village Trustee Pat Tetzlaff told Sawall as village officials were touring the basement of the building which will house storage and underground parking for tenants.
Village officials are optimistic that the development is going to have a significant economic and esthetic impact on the Main Street business district.
"I think they have done an outstanding job on the exterior of the building. It is going to permanently reshape Main Street," observed Trustee Matt Petricca.
"It is going to have a positive influence and lead to an economic resurgence for the entire village," he added.
Petricca, who was recently appointed to the Village Board, was on the Sawall guided tour along with Tetzlaff and Village Attorney John Macy.
According to the plans, each of the residential buildings with have 10 apartments per floor. Four will be one bed room, three will be two bedrooms and three will be one bed rooms and a den. They will range in price from about $900 to $1,200.
Sawall said the apartments with one bedroom and a den have been particularly attractive to older tenants who prefer a smaller apartment but still need some space to accommodate occasional family over night visitors.
The apartments will feature private balconies, walk in closets, washers and dryers and energy efficient heating and air conditioning. The kitchens will include hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and appliances.
Some of the units overlook a small quarry pond that has been a village land mark for decades.
"It brings backs some old memories," Tetzlaff said to Petricca as they gazed out the apartment window.
"I can remember when everyone learned how to swim there," she added.
The development is located on approximately 11 acres that once was site of the Mammoth Springs Cannery Company. For decades village officials and various developers had dreams of developing the site, but only Sawall was able to turn those dreams into reality.
In addition to finding banking support for the project, in the midst of an economic recession, he also had to deal with local, state and federal governments in order to relocate the Bug Line Recreational Trail, a biking and hiking path that traveled through the center of the old cannery site.
Through a complicated series of land transactions, Sawall eventually got the three layers of government to go along with idea of relocating the trail around the edge of the development.
Sawall would also like to expand the development from the south side to the north side of Main Street but, so far, has been unable to acquire the needed land along the north side of the street.
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