Council approves final plans for former Kmart site
Dollar Tree could be future tenant

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

Dec. 17, 2014

This rendering shows what would be the view from the southwest corner of the former Kmart site at 120 E. Sunset Drive after redevelopment. The Common Council unanimously approved final plans for the site Tuesday night.  
Submitted art

WAUKESHA - A former Kmart has sat vacant at 120 W. Sunset Drive for three years, but it will soon be home to an updated retail center as the Common Council unanimously approved final plans for the site Tuesday night.

The Plan Commission held a last-minute special meeting just prior to Tuesday’s Common Council meeting to review new plans for the site, which developer Randy Roth of Milwaukee-based Endeavour Corporation brought forward after the commission found fault with original plans for the site last week. Specifically, they took issue with the 115,857-square-foot building’s long, uninterrupted roof line.

New plans included facades with more dimension for the front of the building, which Community Development Specialist Jeff Fortin said will be split into several units with their own distinct entrances. Of course, which tenants move in will dictate the look of the entrances and thus the entire building. Roth mentioned Dollar Tree as a possible tenant, and showed the commission the corporate style for Dollar Tree entrances on a rendering for the site.

Roth said he and his Iowa-based partners have been working on the $14 million project for three years. He agreed to create a bolder, more exciting look for the two proposed outlots and a 10,000-square-foot expansion that will come before the commission at a later date, since it’s easier to be creative with new construction.

Roth thanked the commission for its suggestions and ultimately its unanimous approval of the project, as well as its agreement to meet again so quickly, since buyers plan to close on the building this week.

“It’s been a long road to get to this point,” he said.

The project’s approval comes with several conditions, including installing some kind of public art within a year of occupancy.

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

At the last commission meeting, Commissioner Kevin Larson said this new retail center could compete with The Shoppes at Fox River if it’s handled appropriately - especially since city money is involved.

Last month, the 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 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.