Walgreens nixes planned development in town
Marek says he’s been contacted by nightclub that wants to locate there

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

March 21, 2014

Walgreens is no longer planning on building a store on this site in the Town of Waukesha.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

TOWN OF WAUKESHA - All that work for nothing.

After months and even years of the Town Board arguing back and forth among itself and developers over things like hours of operation, Walgreens isn’t moving on with its planned store at the corner of Sunset Drive and Highway X.

“This project was in the works for nearly five years. Recently we looked again at the economic impact this location will have on our nearby stores and concluded it would no longer be a sound business decision to move forward with it,” said Walgreens Media Relations Spokesperson Phil Caruso. “We have acquired the property from the developer and we informed the city of our decision. At present we are talking to our broker about selling the property.”

The development was planned to include an Aldi as well, but Aldi’s PR department didn’t get back to The Freeman by press time.

Town Chairman John Marek blamed the loss of the development on a fellow Town Board member and said that he’s been contacted by two entities who want to construct a bar/nightclub there.

“The loss of $5 million in tax base lies squarely on the shoulders of Mr. (Joe) Banske,” Marek said. “I have firsthand knowledge that this development was scuttled due to Mr. Banske’s non-stop harassment of the developer,” Marek said. “The low-impact/high quality Walgreens/Aldi development could now be replaced by a high-impact development having a detrimental effect on the town and the surrounding community.”

Banske said he did a survey of almost every homeowner in the area of the development and they “monumentally overwhelmingly” said that they didn’t want the development.

He also said there are lots of reasons Walgreens might have decided to pull up stakes.

“As I understand the fiscal or financial feasibility study may have been impacted by the recent foreclosure action against the adjacent Fox Run Shopping Center,” Banske said. “From the time this facility was originally planned for the time they were ready to break ground last winter, there have been four new pharmacies open up within two miles. It’s a potential that because of the saturation and the foreclosure coupled with the fact that the bypass route seems to be planned to not go in the direction it was originally planned to go - down Sunset Drive - those are all really things that would impact the financial feasibility.”

Banske also said he finds it “highly unlikely” that a nightclub owner is already interested in the site since nearby neighbors have only just found out that the property is for sale.

“It’s possible, but highly unlikely,” Banske said.

Email: spryor@conleynet.com