Industrial park plans could grow greatly
Might reach 200-plus acres, administrator says

By McLean Bennett

June 28, 2019

WEST BEND — An envisioned 63-acre future industrial park on West Bend’s far southeast side could grow to more than 210 acres, a top city leader confirmed on Thursday.

That’s if steps to acquire an additional swath of rural farmland in the neighboring Town of Trenton go smoothly.

An agenda for next week’s Common Council meeting notes elected West Bend leaders on Monday could consider authorizing a purchase agreement for the vast, 153-acre area near the corner of County NN and River Road.

Detailed terms of the agreement weren’t available on the city’s website Thursday. But City Administrator Jay Shambeau said it could involve annexing the territory and combining it with an additional nearby property the city has already eyed for industrial development.

The land outlined in Monday’s agreement is just south of a 63-acre parcel the city annexed earlier this year. Shambeau said while some terms related to the new property still need hammering out, plans call for combining both areas into an industrial park — zoned for heavy industry — that could someday measure about 215 acres.

“It definitely is a big deal for the city,” he said, noting the potential to add new space for future developments in West Bend could be key to helping the city attract and keep new and existing businesses.

“We’re hopeful that this will provide a path for keeping existing companies here in West Bend,” he said.

Shambeau declined to specify a potential purchase price for the new property, and West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow declined comment Thursday when contacted by a reporter. Mark Piotrowicz, the city’s development director, wasn’t available when a reporter tried calling his office late Thursday afternoon.

The envisioned industrial park would be just south of a housing subdivision near the corner of River and Rusco roads. Residents protested moves by the city this year to enact zoning changes they said would invite heavy industry just off their back yards, though city leaders pointed out larger industrial developments already exist nearby.

One of those residents, Scott Mindel, on Thursday said the possibility the city could expand the park’s footprint even further left him worried about the potential for even bigger industrial neighbors in the future.

“This whole process has me very jaded,” Mindel, who’d spoken in opposition to the earlier industrial park zoning plans this year, said this week. He said he remains worried about how future developments might impact his and neighbors’ wells — as well as what it might do to their property values.

<<EARLIER: West Bend Council OKs steps toward industrial park on southeast side