Parcel eyed for business park
Grafton site houses 600,000 square feet of potential space

By Melanie Boyung - News Graphic Staff

Jan. 4, 2018

 A 114-acre parcel on Highway 60 west of Highway C could be home to a future business park in Grafton. Juice’s Ghost Town is on the same side of the road, left, below a hill.
Photo by Mark Justesen

GRAFTON — Movement may finally be happening on potential business park development in Grafton. Just over two years ago in December 2015, Grafton village officials hired NAI MLG Commercial to assist them in researching potential locations and feasibility for a new business park. Now, the village has put out a request for proposals for such a project near the intersection of Ulao Road and Highway C.

“We’re just at the very beginning stage right now,” Barry Chavin of MLG said Wednesday.

The RFP went out in December for engineering and survey services. According to the village document, the land being considered for the project is 114 acres northwest of the intersection, though a rectangular parcel immediately at the Ulao Road and Highway C intersection is not included.

The document requests those giving proposals include not-to-exceed costs for a variety of survey and engineering services, including costs to create site and concept plans, among myriad other items.

According to information from the village of Grafton and MLG, there is not yet any formal agreement for development. Until bids have come in and been discussed, how the village and developer could collaborate on promoting a business park is uncertain.

“We, the village, are doing research to see if it’s feasible for us to be in that support role,” village of Grafton Administrator Jesse Thyes said.

 The shared blue area represents the parcel that could be the future home to
12 to 15 businesses of varying sizes.

“This is going to be an entirely open session discussion on the 15th (of January),” Thyes added.

The RFP deadline listed on the village website is Wednesday, five days ahead of the Monday, Jan. 15 scheduled Village Board meeting.

Chavin said the parcel considered could allow for about 15 businesses, though that number is only an educated guess this early in the process. He said after roads, a retention pond and other infrastructure are accounted for, there would be about 86 acres of salable land remaining, though what that looks like won’t be known until engineering and surveying have occurred. Estimating about 600,000 square feet of business space at full build-out, if the business park occurs, the development could have about $42 million of value increment. He said it could include as many as 12 to 15 different buildings of varying size.

“This is going to be light industrial, a higher-end business park,” Chavin said.

He said uses could include light industrial, manufacturing or warehouse, as well as professional, office or multitenant space.

According to the RFP documents, the property is currently within the town of Grafton; it would have to be annexed into the village if the plans move forward.

MLG is a commercial real estate company with offices in Milwaukee and Madison, serving property management and brokerage needs. At the time MLG was hired to study feasibility of another business park in Grafton, Village President Jim Brunnquell said it was in response to businesses’ interest in Grafton, and the two existing business parks in Grafton having only one space left for development.

Village Board meetings are held at 6 p.m. the first and third Mondays at Village Hall, 860 Badger Circle.