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Wangard Partners Inc. is proposing a new business park that could break ground this summer in Sussex, and already has been approached by about a dozen companies that need land for new buildings.

There is almost a 400-acre deficit of industrial park land in Waukesha County today,” said Stewart Wangard, president and CEO. “We have many firms throughout Waukesha County who are looking for sites so they can expand.”

Responding to that demand, the Milwaukee developer is working on a business park for an almost 70-acre property it owns at Highway 164 and Highway K. The company is in talks to get village rezoning and financial assistance to build a business park on most of the land.

Wangard said he hopes to start moving dirt this summer, and have sites ready for building construction to start later this year once new roads are in.

Wangard and Sussex officials were talking about this property in 2015. At that time, about 20 acres were tabbed for retail uses. The latest proposal has about 3.5 acres along Highway K reserved for new retail buildings. Wangard said there already is enough land on the market to meet retailers’ demand, but companies need acres for manufacturing plants, distribution centers and offices.

When we started off, the community had requested additional retail, and there is very strong demand in all of southeastern Wisconsin for business park sites,” he said. “This project is designed to meet the needs of both manufacturers and those who distribute products.”

The project plan also preserves about 12 acres of natural areas on the northwestern edge of the property. Wangard Partners preserved a barn in that area that dates back to the 1800’s and was part of the original homestead on the property, Wangard said.

That northern, more natural area of the property could be developed for a company’s corporate campus, Wangard said, or for senior housing. The barn could become an amenity as part of a corporate campus, or converted into an entertainment or event venue, he said.

Plans under review from the city see potential for about 700,000 square feet of buildings that would create $47 million in new property value. To make it happen, about $4 million must be spent on site improvements, according to a Sussex report.

The village is in talks with Wangard over creating a tax incremental financing district to pick up some of those costs, according to a Sussex official. No details are available. The TIF district would use property taxes generated by the $47 million in new land value to pay off those site prep costs.

The Sussex review of the project will start with an April 17 review by the Plan Commission.

View the entire article as published by Sean Ryan – Reporter, Milwaukee Business Journal here.