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Sawall has verbal agreement on Sussex Inn

April 1, 2014

Village of Sussex — Brookfield entrepreneur/developer Arthur Sawall says he has reached a verbal agreement to purchase the Sussex Inn but adds that he will wait for the result of a regional marketing study before determining how he will redevelop the property as well as the nearby NAPA building, both located on the north side of Main Street.

Sawall is building a multi-use residential and retail complex on the south side of Main Street at the site of the former Mammoth Springs Cannery Company on the corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue.

Earlier this month, tenants began moving into the first apartment building completed on the project. Sawall hopes to eventually construct five apartment buildings, each with 30 units, and two retail/commercial buildings at about 6,000 square feet each.

After he gained village approvals and financing for the Mammoth Springs project on the south side of Main Street, he began eyeing for possible redevelopment three landmark properties, the NAPA building, the M&M restaurant building and the Sussex Inn, on the north side of Main Street — "Mammoth Springs North" as he called it.

Verbal agreement

A few weeks ago, he reached a tentative agreement with the owners of the NAPA building, but the sale has been contingent on his ability to acquire the Sussex Inn, where negotiations, until recently, had been at an impasse.

Sawall confirmed in an interview last week that he had reached a verbal agreement with Phil Kmiec who represents the Kmiec family trust, which owns the building.

"As soon as I reached a verbal agreement with Phil, I began thinking about a regional marketing study that will help me and the bank decide whether my vision for Mammoth Springs North is realistic," Sawall said.

Sawall envisions about 60 additional apartment units, along with commercial/retail buildings on the north side of the street, to complement the 150 rental units and 12,000 square feet of commercial space on the south side.

Is demand there?

The market study is intended to determine whether the Lake Country region is large enough to economically support two major business intersections in Sussex; Highway 164 and Silver Spring Road, and Waukesha Avenue (Highway 74) and Main Street. There is also a nearly 200,000 square foot grocery and household good store being constructed at the intersection of Highways 164 and K (Lisbon Road).

Sawall believes that his Lake Country market for the apartments extends along Highway 16 as far west as Oconomowoc.

"I would consider the Highway 164 intersection to be the primary one and Waukesha Avenue and Main Street to be a secondary intersection. The question is whether the region can support both," he said.

If the Lake Country market is large enough to sustain the two intersections, Sawall said he could begin redevelopment of the Sussex Inn and NAPA properties without acquiring the M & M building between them.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Homestead Animal Farm: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends, W320 N9127 Highway 83, Hartland. Corn maze, hayrides, barnyard animals, pumpkins and other fall items. $6 maze, $2 hayrides, $2 animals, $9 all three. (262) 966-3840.

Mike Chaloupka Memorial Craft Fair: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 27, Cornerstone Church, N6 W31449 Alberta Drive, Delafield. Handcrafted home and holiday decor items, unique gifts, silent auction, bake sale.

Comedy Show: 9-10:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Club Indigo, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale MIle Road, Oconomowoc. Features national acts. $7 advance, $10 at the door. (262) 369-3999, www.olympiaresort.com.

"The Wonderbread Years" starring John McGivern: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. A comical salute to the baby boomer generation. (262) 560-2130, www.theoac.net.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

All weekend happenings.