Sources: Walmart to be proposed at Pabst Farms
Mayor, Pabst spokesman say retailer is speculation
City of Oconomowoc - Pabst Farms mall speculations have cropped up recently, and talk has gained momentum with speculation that Pabst will soon propose a Walmart for the space. Two sources to the Focus have indicated they heard Pabst is going to propose a Walmart on the site.
Mayor Jim Daley recently appointed aldermen James Larsen, Dave Nold and Mike Miller to an ad hoc committee to discuss "imminent" development at the site with Pabst officials. The group will meet in closed session Monday. Daley said he didn't anticipate anything being discussed in open session for at least two weeks.
When asked whether he could comment on the potential for a Walmart to be part of those discussions, Daley said any assumption on a specific tenant is premature.
"This is an exploratory meeting to start a conversation, and I don't know all the facts," Daley said of Monday's meeting with Pabst officials. "The meeting is to begin negotiations with Pabst and the city; however it's important to point out that this committee has no authority.
"It's just an exploratory group to start a conversation and get information," he added.
Pabst Farms spokesman Thad Nation agreed with the mayor's statement. "The mayor put it well. We continue to talk to retailers and look at our development plan, which remains the same as the one the city passed in 2011," Nation said.
In 2011, the city approved an amended development plan for the Pabst Farms Town Centre that would have the project built in phases instead of all at once. "As we secure retailers, that's when we will be building," said Nation.
However, exactly what retailers are possible is up in the air. Nation said there has been speculation for years on what types of retailers would end up at the Town Centre. And, he said, since the project was proposed more than six years ago, some of the possible stores discussed then as likely tenants don't even exist anymore.
"From the time it was proposed to today, we have gone through the second-worst economic downturn in the nation's history. The stores we talked about before literally don't exist," said Nation.
Both Nation and Daley said because so many retailers have gone out of business or closed stores, a large amount of vacant retail space has cropped up.
"That (failing economy) created a tremendous glut of retail space, and that's where retailers looking to expand went first and they could get good deals," said Nation.
"There has been a movement away from expanding brick and mortar in today's retail economy. When you have people no longer there, you create space available in prime market areas, and when those areas become vacant, the landowner often reduces the price significantly," Daley said.
Nation did say that as we start to see a bit of economic recovery, Pabst officials have seen retailers interested in building.
The mayor said the Common Council will discuss in open session any decision forthcoming on approving a change to the original development plan.
Top stories from the Lake Country area. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
Click here for stories
on community pride
Do you have news or a nonprofit event that you would like to share with the community? Whether it's a community organization, a business, a local school, or a notable neighbor, we'd love to hear about it.
- Mindful Mixed Mediums Project: in Memory of Lake Country Artist, Kathy Boritzke (Hosted by The Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts), is Looking for 5th-8th Grade Visual Arts and Creative Writing Students to Participate
- CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE ADDRESSES DISPUTED TOPICS IN WAUKESHA PEWAUKEE
- Five By Design Brings Club Swing to Schauer Center
- FREE Workshops Teach Eco-friendly Methods
- Wisconsin Watercolor Society Exhibit at the Schauer Center
- "Brass at Night" concert by Milwaukee Festival Brass
- Local Youth Perform with New York Theatre Ballet in Cinderella & Other Tales
- Local Chiropractors Discuss: Are You Sitting Properly?
Lake Country residents share their views on news, happenings and current events.
LivingLakeCountry.com features more than a dozen community bloggers - a group of volunteer conversation leaders who are up on the latest topics and never short on an opinion. Just a few are pictured here. Check out the rest and see what they have to say!
View All Blogs
Do you want to become a Community Blogger? LivingLakeCountry.com welcomes your thoughts and opinions. Contact us for more information:
I want to blog