WAUKESHA - Redevelopment of the former Kmart site on
Sunset Drive is moving forward, as the Finance Committee unanimously
approved a resolution establishing a tax incremental financing
district for the area Thursday evening.
The proposed multi-million-dollar development would
transform the vacant Kmart into a shopping center featuring a gym,
retail stores and more.
Committee member Joe Pieper abstained from the vote
because his employer, Associated Bank, owns a small parcel within
the proposed district.
Community Development Director Steve Crandell said
that the development would be located within a proposed tax
incremental financing (TIF) district, and that the city could extend
a $2.6 million ďpay-as-you goĒ TIF to development firm Endeavor
Corp., which would be paid as the tax value is realized.
Crandell said TIFs have added tens of millions of
dollars to the cityís tax roll and have created additional
employment opportunities as well. He said this district would be
unique because itís outside the central city area.
Representatives from Xperience Fitness have signed a
letter of intent to take over 40,000 square feet of the former Kmart
building, which has been vacant for several years. Xperience plans
to relocate from its current, smaller location farther down Sunset
Drive in a shopping center in the Town of Waukesha.
Crandell said the developer will invest $13 million
into rehabilitating the existing building and constructing the two
He also said city staff plans to build an underground
flood mitigation system on the site, since the area is extremely
prone to flooding.
The district would also include a proposed Meijer
store, which Mayor Jeff Scrima recently announced is planned for the
southeast corner of Sunset Drive and Tenny Avenue. Meijer would not
receive any TIF funds, Scrima said.
The Plan Commission has already unanimously approved
the districtís boundaries. The Joint Review Board and Common Council
will still have to approve the TIF - which would be the cityís 22nd
- before itís set in stone.