Former Kmart building could get big facelift
Commission to take on new plans for site

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

Dec. 7, 2014

WAUKESHA — Broker Jon Thoresen says by the time construction is done at the former Kmart building at 120 E. Sunset Drive, it will be “unrecognizable.”

“It’s going to be like a brand-new building,” Thoresen said this week.

On Wednesday, the Plan Commission will take on preliminary site plans for the 115,857-square-foot building, which developers are planning to revamp with a 10,000-square-foot addition and two additional outlots, said Community Development Specialist Jeff Fortin.

The proposal includes splitting the building into four units, but the plan is flexible depending on what tenants actually move in, Fortin said.

Thoresen said if all goes as planned, the site will include a fitness center and more than one restaurant.

“In early 2015 we’ll have some announcements of tenants other than the fitness center, and it will be things the community will be very excited about,” Thoresen said.

The sale of the building is expected to close next week.

A similar plan came before the commission last year but the development has been stalled since then.

Last month, the Common Council approved creating a tax incremental financing district on the site.

TIF District 22 will include an upfront incentive payment of $2 million and a $600,000 pay-as-you go TIF that will be paid as the tax value is realized.

Finance Committee Chairman Joe Pieper said the site is currently assessed at $3.7 million, but the developer’s agreement includes a provision that the value will increase to a minimum of $13 million.

Last summer, when the future of a Meijer department store at the corner of Sunset Drive and Tenny Avenue was in question, Thoresen said the redevelopment of the Kmart site was dependent on Meijer being approved.

The Plan Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 201 Delafield St.