More development headed for Pabst Farms

Staybridge Suites and Fastenal coming to Oconomowoc area project.

Pabst Farms, the 1,500-acre mixed-use development at Interstate 94 and Highway 67 in Oconomowoc and the Town of Summit, announced today that a 128-room Staybridge Suites hotel will be built just west of the Aurora hospital that is under construction. Staybridge Suites, an extended-stay hotel brand of Windsor, U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group, will anchor the Hospitality Campus of Pabst Farms, which will include another planned hotel, office building and restaurant.

The Staybridge Suites’ amenities will include 24-hour business services and free high-speed internet services, complimentary breakfast, sundown evening receptions, a 24-hour fitness center, swimming pool, sport court, barbeque pavilion and a convenience store. Construction is expected to break ground this month and the hotel is expected to open in early spring, 2009. "By opening this hotel in the spring of next year, we saw an opportunity to capture hospitality business during Aurora hospital’s active construction phase, since many workers and vendors need an extended place to stay nearby," said Peter Bell, president of Pabst Farms Development Inc. "We expect ongoing business from patients and families once the hospital opens in early 2010." A total of four to five hotels are planned at Pabst Farms. A Hilton Garden Inn opened last year in Pabst Farms. Fitchburg-based S&L Hospitality, which developed the Hilton Garden Inn, will also develop the Staybridge Suites at Pabst Farms.

Also this month, construction is expected to begin on the first of three speculative industrial buildings at Pabst Farms. The first spec building will have 30,000 square feet of space and about 25 percent will be occupied by Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal Corp., which plans to move in during mid-October. Fastenal is a distributor of threaded fasteners and accessories for use in industrial and commercial applications.  Leasing for the building is being handled by Sam Dickman Sr. of The Dickman Company. "Fastenal wanted to be in a new, convenient and recognizable location and therefore chose Pabst Farms," Dickman said. "With all the activity going on with the retail center, hospital and hotels, Pabst Farms is becoming the center of commercial business west of Milwaukee."

The construction of the 110-bed, 792,000-square-foot Aurora hospital in Pabst Farms continues to progress. A topping off ceremony was held earlier this month. The hospital is expected to create 650 permanent jobs. Construction is expected to start in the next week at Village Crossing, the 144-unit luxury condominium development in Pabst Farms. The general contractor for the condominium homes is Wired Construction LLC, a division of Wired Properties, a Milwaukee boutique real estate development, consulting and construction firm with expertise in full-service multi-family consulting. Condominium prices begin at $275,900. The first units are expected to open in late 2008.

Pabst Farms executives are still working on the Pabst Farms Town Centre, a 1-million square-foot retail center. Last fall, it was announced that Beachwood, Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty Corporation (DDR) had partnered with Pabst Farms to develop the project, which is scheduled to open in 2010. Pabst Farms Town Centre was recently showcased at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Conference in Las Vegas.

Despite high gas prices and the slumping economy, which have hurt the retail sector, the Pabst Farms Town Centre project is progressing, Pabst Farms spokesman Thad Nation said. "We’re not looking at today," he said. "We’re looking at two years down the road. Everything is moving forward. We were just at ICSC and had a great response." Pabst Farms and DDR are currently in the process of signing up tenants and hope to have news of the first announced stores later this year.

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