Iowa firm announces completed purchase of former Kmart
Construction could begin Thursday, opening by fall

By Arthur Thomas - Freeman Staff

Dec. 30, 2014

WAUKESHA - Just under two weeks after the Common Council approved final plans for the redevelopment of the former Kmart site, Iowa-based Lockard Development announced Monday it had completed the purchase of the property located at 120 E. Sunset Drive.

The site has sat vacant for three years, but Lockard plans to begin construction Thursday with an opening date tentatively scheduled for fall 2015.

“We are excited to be renovating a space that has been a blight on an otherwise bright community,” Lockard President Robert Smith said, noting that Dollar Tree and Xperience Fitness had already signed leases for the building.

“We strongly believe we can bring a tenant mix to Sunset Crossing that will complement the local economy.”

A purchase price was not disclosed and the transaction was not yet reflected in online state real estate records.

The council approved creating a tax incremental financing district on the site in November.

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 back as the tax value is realized.

The site is assessed at $3.7 million, but the developer’s agreement includes a provision that the value will increase to $13 million.

Developers have described the projected as a $14 million endeavor that will renovate the 115,000 square foot building, build a 10,000 square foot addition and add two new out-lots.

Randy Roth, president of Milwaukee-based Endeavour Corp., Lockard’s development partner on the project, said the area has been seeing “tremendous investment.”

Michigan-based retailer Meijer recently completed the purchase of land for its planned store at the southeast corner of Sunset Drive and Tenny Avenue.

The project hit a brief snag earlier this month when the Plan Commission voted to send it back to the drawing board for a more interesting design.

The developers returned a week later with new plans that gained approval from the commission and Common Council.

Asked if the setback put the project in danger, Lockard’s Smith said the company was pleased to be working hand-in-hand with the community on a project that would meet the company’s mission to “enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve.

“We appreciate the diligence of city staff and all involved in helping make it possible for the project to proceed,” he said.