A Mills Fleet Farm store at the former Geneva Lakes Kennel Club in the city of Delavan is the first phase in redeveloping the 201-acre property at Highway 50 and I-43.
The $30 million Fleet Farm project will be located on about 30 acres of land at the former dog track site, which has been vacant since 2005.
[caption id="attachment_167255" align="alignright" width="394"] Rendering of Mills Fleet Farm in Oconomowoc by Stephen Perry Smith Architects. Rendering not available for Delavan project.[/caption]
The track was purchased in 2006 by two corporations, DKC135 LLC and DP71 LLC, which is represented by McHenry, Illinois-based NRB Land.
Appleton and Green Bay-based Commercial Horizons is developing the Mills project and is planning to purchase the property from NRB, said Denise Pieroni, Delavan city administrator.
Construction is expected to begin by Nov. 1, according to a letter submitted to the city by Commercial Horizons. The company is not seeking any financial assistance from the city.
“We are very excited about Mills,” Pieroni said. “They have a regional draw, which we were hoping for with that site.”
On Monday, the city plan commission approved the plan for Mills Fleet Farm and phase one of the development plan of the Geneva Lakes Kennel Club, which includes the northern 86.6 acres of the site.
Approval includes water, sewer and private road improvements to the site. The plan commission also changed the zoning of the former dog track from light manufacturing to mixed-use, which will allow for retail, residential or light industrial on the property, although, further approvals will be needed when additional tenants are secured, Pieroni said.
“From the city’s perspective, we are very excited that development is moving forward on this 200 acre parcel,” Pieroni said. “This is one of our most prominent corners and this is going to be great exposure on I-43 and Highway 50.”
The Mills Fleet Farm store in Delavan will be similar to its other stores. The large, 218,653-square-foot store will include an outdoor garden center and tire automotive center. A detached convenience store, gas station and car wash totaling 4,900 square feet is also proposed.
The store will employ approximately 75 full-time people and 150 part-time people, according to Commercial Horizons.
“The proposed store is part of an aggressive initiative to geographically expand an already very successful store and concept whereby five new stores will be opened by the fall of 2018,” Curt Mauer, with Commercial Horizons wrote in a letter to city officials. “With your timely support, we feel confident we can get Mills Fleet Farm open by fall 2018."
Commercial Horizons is currently building a 218,628-square-foot Mills Fleet Farm store at the Pabst Farm development in Oconomowoc with plans to open in summer 2018.
The company is also planning a Mills Fleet Farm location in the city of Kenosha. The 218,600-square-foot store would be located east of Interstate 94 and north of 60th Street. The site is near the former Dairyland Greyhound Park dog track.
On Tuesday, Paul Klister, principal with Commercial Horizons said the Delavan store does not change the company’s plans for the Kenosha store.