Richfield Board gives tentative OK to Kwik Trip developer pact
Company to provide $1.3M for road, safety upgrades around store

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Dec. 2, 2018

A semi-truck pulls out of the Exxon gas station truck stop Oct. 20 in Richfield. Kwik Trip is buying the location to build a Kwik Trip gas station in the place of the current buildings. On Thursday night, the Richfield Village Board and Kwik Trip reached a tentative developers agreement for the project. Only minor details need to be agreed to in order to finalize the deal.
Daily News

RICHFIELD — Village officials and Kwik Trip Inc. have tentatively approved a developer’s agreement between the two parties for the proposed construction of a new convenience story and truck stop near the intersection of highways 41-45 and 167.

The Village Board held a closed session special meeting Thursday night to discuss details in the proposed agreement. Village Administrator Jim Healy said the two sides have been able to “hammer out all the big picture stuff.”

“It is all subject to the final review and approval of the village attorney, but we are still hammering out some small details such as the mix design of the asphalt to be used and what I would consider granular details,” Healy said.

The developer’s agreement with Kwik Trip, Healy said, will provide in detail points concerning public improvements — not only building the public road, but the improvements on Highway 167 as well.

“Everything is being pushed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation,” Healy said. “Any redevelopment of this property at all, not just because it’s Kwik Trip would have triggered the improvements required by the DOT.”

 “The total cost of those is now approximately $1.3 million,” Healy said. “Kwik Trip is giving the village a financial guarantee in the form of a letter of credit and they are giving us that letter of credit in a greater amount than what they estimated the cost to be,” Healy said. “They are doing it in the amount our engineer estimated the cost to be to further protect the taxpayers.”

Kwik Trip engineers had estimated the cost for the public improvements to be about $1.2 million. Part of the agreement includes creating a road to provide access to to about 200 acres north of Kwik Trip so it can be developed.

“When the village did its recent EPA Brownfields grant application it allowed us to do a study for the northeast corridor there,” Healy said. “This has been a central focus point for the village for economic development for years, this area. So Kwik Trip agreeing to stub in the road for access to that property is really going to signal to the development world that the village is open and ready for business.”

Healy said the owner of the property to the north could only get to the land by easement.

“The DOT took the position that the access rights to that property were purchased several decades ago and to get them back previously you had to look at the value of the assessed property with and without access to 167 and then pay the difference which they were estimating to be over a million dollars,” Healy said. “That cost earlier prevented that from happening so there will now be access.”

Healy said the new road will be named Richfield Way which will be a continuation of the Endeavor Business Park road that is to the north. The village would like to see the same kind of uses that are in Richfield’s business and office parks.

Village staff have been working with the Wisconsin DOT on access to property around the truck stop for years. Other proposed infrastructure improvements along Highway 167 that are to be part of the project include closing a median on Highway 167 so that no left turns can be made from the right-in only access point, the realignment of the access point to the Thrifty Car Rental site directly south and a lighted intersection on Highway 167 that will also have stop lights.

“This is like a three-legged stool development agreement because it is us, Kwik Trip and the property owners to the north because the road will be on their land and not on the Kwik Trip property,” Healy said. “Brian also owns the land across the highway where the new Briggs and Stratton facility is going up.”

Kwik Trip Inc. has proposed purchasing the Richfield Truck Stop-Exxon gas station at 2900 Highway 167, demolishing the facility, including the diner, and constructing a larger convenience store and gas station. The proposed convenience store would be 8,847 square-feet with an attached dumpster enclosure, gas fueling canopy and detached storage shed.

Kwik Trip officials have said demolition of the present buildings will happen during the winter and they hope to be open by about this time next years.

Kwik Trip Director of Real Estate Hans Zietlow said if all the necessary approvals are received and construction moves forward the company will end up investing about $10 million in the Richfield project. That includes the purchase of 8 acres of land, construction, store equipment and highway and site improvements. The $10 million also includes the amount promised to the village and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the infrastructure work.

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