Shoppes at Fox River expansion moves forward

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

July 24, 2014

WAUKESHA - A six-building, 180,000-square-foot retail expansion at The Shoppes at Fox River is moving forward, as the Plan Commission on Wednesday night unanimously approved final site plans for the next phase of the development at 1180 W. Sunset Drive.

However, Mayor Shawn Reilly wants the Common Council to discuss the reconstruction of the shopping center’s portion of Sunset Drive, citing some traffic issues and saying that the markings are confusing.

Reilly said if city staff can work out the traffic issues with the applicant without the need for a road reconstruction, however, the issue wouldn’t have to go before the council.

Additionally, the city’s sign appeals board will have to weigh in on three 27-foot signs that will identify tenants as well before the development can move forward.

Preliminary plans include a 65,000-square-foot building attached to the current Hobby Lobby building, one five-tenant 90,000-square-foot building to the south, and then four smaller buildings that would total about 31,000 square feet to the southwest.

Developers have been keeping names of potential tenants close to the vest, but have revealed that retailers of soft goods, sporting goods and fast-casual dining restaurants are all interested in locating at The Shoppes.

Earlier this summer, the commission unanimously voted to change the land use plan and rezone 9.86 acres off Chapman Drive to reflect commercial use, rather than industrial, allowing the shopping center to expand into a nearby industrial park.

Reilly thanked staff from developer Ramco-Gershenson for being easy to work with, and said it’s been a pleasure.

In other business

At its Wednesday meeting, the Plan Commission:

* Delayed a decision on renewing a conditional use permit for Schoolcare Learning Center at 101 W. Sunset Drive after neighbors expressed concerns about noise when children are playing outside.

 Neighbors suggested limiting outdoor playtime, limiting the number of children allowed outside at one time and putting down rubber chips on the playground to absorb noise.

 “We didn’t make the decision to live next to a playground, park or public school. We made the decision to live next to a parking lot,” said neighbor Steve Greenacre, adding that he doesn’t feel he can use his house because of all the noise.

Commissioner Kevin Larson said he’s thankful that kids are still allowed to have outdoor recess in this day and age, and thanked the owners for doing business in Waukesha.

* Unanimously approved a preliminary site plan and architectural review for a new Associated Bank planned for 2815 N. Grandview Blvd., at the former Peking House location.