Mequon Town Center sold
Plover-based investor closes on new development

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Dec. 27, 2016

The value of the first phase of the Mequon Town Center development is already estimated to be $4 million more than initially projected.
File photo

MEQUON — The Mequon Town Center, which has been open for about a year and a half, has been sold.

Investors, which included developers Cindy Shaffer and Blair Williams, closed on the sale to Lokre Companies, a Plover-based developer and investor, earlier this month.

While specifics of the deal were not announced, Shaffer told the News Graphic Monday that the estimated value of the development is about $4 million more than the $14 million to $15 million initial estimates.

“At the end of the day, it’s close to $20 million,” said Shaffer, who now is developing a second phase of the Town Center just to the west. “It’s going to generate considerably more revenue for the city than was initially anticipated.”

Shaffer, owner of Mequon-based Shaffer Development, worked with Williams, owner of Milwaukee-based WiRED Properties, as the Town Center proposal advanced through the various stages of city approval.

The five-building development at the corner of Mequon and Cedarburg roads includes Café Hollander, Colectivo Coffee, a variety of health-care services and other retailers along with 28 apartments. One 2,500-square-foot retail space is available. As part of the project, developers moved a gas station building to the west end of the property and transformed it into the new Howard J. Schroeder American Legion Post. The Legion’s old building was demolished for the development.

Shaffer said she would have preferred to retain control of the development.

“This was not my decision,” she said. “I was outvoted on this. My intention was to hold this long-term.”

There was “an unsolicited offer” for the development. In addition to Williams and Shaffer, other investors had a say in whether the property would be sold, she said.

“I sat next to Blair when he said he was going to hold this for the long term,” Shaffer said. “That was the hard part for me. When I tell someone I’m going to do something, I want to do it.”

Williams could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rolly Lokre, owner of Lokre Companies, told the News Graphic in a phone interview Monday that he was “very, very impressed” by the project and he was interested in purchasing property in Mequon.

“We just felt it was a very well-done project by Cindy and Blair,” he said. “I drove by it and was intrigued by it before I knew it was for sale.

“When I heard it was for sale, I knew we were interested in buying it,” he added. “We’re very happy to have it. I look at it as a long-term hold. I look forward to retaining the property.”

Shaffer and Lokre both said they are looking forward to owning neighboring developments as Shaffer continues work on the $27.5 million Spur 16 development that will include 146 apartments, 10 townhomes, a restaurant and other retail businesses. Mequon officials selected her over Williams and another developer to proceed with the project on land the city sold for $1. The project is expected to produce $4.09 million in tax revenue over its first 10 years.

“I think it will just enhance the area,” Lokre said. “The cross section will create more of a destination, with a few more restaurants. I think it’s a positive for the community.”

Shaffer said she expects a harmonious relationship.

“Rolly Lokre is a great guy,” she said. “I did meet him and I will continue to support him and the Town Center and be a good neighbor. We intend to work together.” Lokre said he will be a hands-on owner.

“I’ve been in development my whole life. The bulk of our portfolio is in the Midwest,” he said. “This is our core business. We own the properties and we self-manage. I have very good people working for me – and they look at it like the properties are theirs.”

Mayor Dan Abendroth said Monday he expects he and other city officials will meet Lokre shortly after the holidays. Lokre agreed, saying he hopes to set up a meeting as soon as possible.

“The development industry is motivated by money and somebody – I haven’t even met these people – offered him (Williams) what he felt was a good deal,” Abendroth said.

The mayor added he initially was surprised by the sale.

“But when you think about the kind of business – the way they run their business – they just buy and sell stuff and make deals and make money,” Abendroth said. “It is what it is.”

Email: gachterberg@conleynet.com

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