Summit officials back proposed food manufacturing plant
Oconomowoc officials will need to provide utility services to site

By Dave Fidlin - Special to The Enterprise

Feb. 12, 2015

SUMMIT - While plenty of logistical hurdles and questions remain, plans for a 150,000-square-foot food production and packaging facility are moving forward in Summit.

The Village Board last week voted to make a formal request to the city of Oconomowoc for extended sewer and water service on a 57-acre parcel west of Dousman Road, between Interstate 94 and Delafield Road.

Development company General Capital Group has proposed light industrial uses for an unused tract of land, kicking off with a 150,000-square-foot food production and packing facility. Other than saying it is in the food and beverage industry, Steve Sirkis, vice president of General Capital, declined to name the company eyed for the first phase of the project.

The city of Oconomowoc will also be a key player in the plans. City officials need to sign off on the proposal because it would provide such utility services as water and sewer to the undeveloped area, as outlined in an existing boundary agreement between the two municipalities.

While a variety of issues - including noise, traffic, lighting and concerns about the impact on the environment - have been raised, Summit officials have been overwhelmingly supportive of the plans as presented.

By Village Administrator Henry Elling’s estimation, the food production and packing facility could bring an additional $25 million to the tax rolls.

At a Plan Commission meeting last month, members of the appointed body discussed General Capital’s plans for the site, focusing on whether the proposal was in keeping with the village’s master plan document that outlines the future of the community.

“For me, the use, and what’s being proposed, in my mind, is what we envisioned when we put together the master plan,” said Trustee Scott Piefer, who also serves on the Plan Commission.

Sirkis said General Capital and the as-yet unnamed beverage company have looked at several sites throughout the Milwaukee metropolitan area. The Summit parcel, he said, made the top of list for a variety of reasons, including the close proximity to I-94.

“This one works well,” Sirkis said of the Summit site. “We’re focusing on it right now.”

The area eyed by General Capital is already dotted with several similar developments, including a Roundy’s distribution center.

In addition to the first-phase 150,000-square-foot facility, General Capital is suggesting additional developments of up to 575,000 square feet could be constructed on the parcel.

At its Feb. 5 meeting, the Summit Village Board also discussed a proposal to construct a new municipal building. Oconomowoc-based MSI General Corp. has discussed with village officials different design options for a new village hall facility.

After lengthy discussion, most of the board members agreed to continue reviewing different options before bringing a formal proposal to the community. A special meeting is anticipated in the near future to continue hashing over design and pricing options.