Mequon makes key buy in Town Center development
City cites potential of parcel in paying nearly three times its value

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Feb. 19, 2015

The city of Mequon just purchased a 1.9-acre parcel along Mequon Road that it says is a key toward Town Center development efforts. 
Photo by Gary Achterberg  

MEQUON — The city of Mequon last week bought a 1.9-acre parcel along Mequon Road that it considers a key component to continued development in its Town Center.

The city bought the Ross Wells Inc. parcel at 6200 W. Mequon Road for $1.5 million, which is significantly more than the $507,000 assessed value for the property. The purchase had been the topic of numerous closed session discussions of the common council.

The council approved the purchase 6-1 on Feb. 10. Dale Mayr voted no; council member Mark Gierl was not present, but spoke in opposition to the sale by speaker phone during the common council meeting. The closing occurred Feb. 11.

Kim Tollefson, the city’s director of economic development, said the property is needed to provide access from Mequon Road for a total parcel of 13.5 acres. The rest of the land already is owned by the city and is now being used for public works uses that will ultimately be relocated to a new facility the city has planned on Industrial Drive.

“It’s a great redevelopment opportunity,” she said, adding that it is the only parcel that the city controls out of the 100 acres in the Town Center.

The Town Center runs from the Milwaukee River on the east to Wauwatosa Road on the west. Its southern boundary is just south of Mequon Road and stretches north to Thiensville. The most visible component in Town Center is the retail, restaurant and apartment development now being built at Cedarburg and Mequon roads. That project is on a 3.3-acre site and has an estimated value of $19 million.

Tollefson said eventual development of this parcel could have a potential value of $22 million to $45 million. She added it would benefit the city by generating income for the Tax Incremental Finance district for the Town Center and also achieve “the highest and best use consistent with Town Center policies and goals.”

City officials had a previous offer to purchase on the property for the same price. That deal never materialized because of a contingency that called for both the seller and the city to share the cost of any environmental issues found on the city. Tollefson said the city has examined the property and “nothing came up as part of that report to suggest it can’t be developed.”

The city’s public works building on the portion of the site that the city already had owned houses the sewer division, fleet maintenance division and the fueling station. All will eventually be relocated to the new facility on Industrial Drive. The common council has authorized design of the combined facility this year. Construction is anticipated in 2016, said Kristin Lundeen, Mequon’s director of public works and city engineer.

Gary Achterberg can be reached at .