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Saturday

August 2014

30

Pig and cannery key projects

Cannery deal may be close; Pig expansion pending

Village of Sussex — The future shape of the Village Center plan may be significantly affected by two pending private developments and a future highway project, according to village officials.

Dennis and Donna Lipofski, owners of the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket at N63 W23735 Main St., say they intend to add at least 4,000 square feet to the Main Street grocery store within the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, village officials believe there is a possibility that a developer and the M&I Bank may be close to agreement on a proposed project for the Old Mammoth Springs Canning Company site on the corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue.

Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said there is a possibility that some conceptual plans might be presented to village officials early next year.

"One of the reasons I am not saying much about it is because the developer and the bank are still negotiating," added Village President Tony Lapcinski.

Lapcinski said a cannery development project could be the anchor for a tax increment financing (TIF) district that might incorporate the so-called Village Center which stretches along Main Street from Maple Avenue east to near Town Line Road.

However, the boundaries of the district have yet to be defined, according to Lapcinski.

A TIF generates a share of real estate tax revenues within the district that can be used to help pay for municipal improvements or help finance private developments.

Lapcinski has identified the further development of the Village Center Plan as one of his priorities before leaving office in April. Lapcinski announced last month he is not seeking reelection.

However, existing businesses and future developments along Main Street are likely to be significantly impacted by state and local highway officials' plans to rebuild the street.

Smith anticipates the work could begin in 2016 but Lapcinski believes that time line is too optimistic.

The village president said he does not anticipate work beginning on Main Street until improvements are made on Good Hope Road which is expected to be the primary alternative to Main Street during the construction.

Dennis Lipofski said "all options are on the table" as they consider whether to renovate the existing Piggly Wiggly or perhaps build a new one at a different location.

He said their decision will depend upon the outcome of negotiations with village officials.

Village Administrator Smith explained that because the reconstruction plans will have such a significant impact on Main Street, the project might also be eligible for TIF district financing or possibly some other incentive program.

Lipofski said if a decision is made to remain at the existing location, it is likely there will be improvements on the front of the building to improve its "curb appeal" and the 4,000-square-foot addition would be added to the west side of the building.

Lipofski does not anticipate there will be changes in the existing parking lot access and egress from Main Street.

However, Smith noted that a successful renovation is likely to result in more customers for the store and possibly more traffic congestion along the section of Main Street that includes access to the Pauline Haass Library, Village Hall, and Associated Bank in addition to the grocery store.

The Lipofskis purchased the former Sentry Store from its previous owner, Matt Jones, who bought the business in 2004, converted it into a Piggly Wiggly, and a year later sold it to Lipofskis.

The store's core customer base consists of older shoppers. Lipofski said he would like to reach younger shoppers, many of them commuters who pass the store on their way to and from work, by providing additional space for inventory and improving the exterior of the store.

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