Union Grove attracting residential developers

An Illinois developer recently purchased 117.34 acres of farmland just north of Union Grove and is planning to eventually build a residential subdivision there.

The developer, Daniel Riedel of Wadsworth, Ill., bought the property, located along the east side of U.S. Highway 45, from Walter and Cheryl Malanowski for $2.78 million, according to the Racine County Register of Deeds office.

Union Grove Village President Robert Orre said he has talked with Riedel about his plans for the property, and the two will meet for lunch in early August to discuss those plans further.

"I think he wants to turn it into residential, basically," Orre said. "The village has just approved another development. We don’t rush into things. I told him it’s going to be awhile (before a development is approved). He’s trying to be a good neighbor. He said he’s willing to wait."

Riedel does not want to publicly discuss his plans for the Malanowski property, said Yoni Zvi, a retail broker for The Polachek Co., which brokered the land transaction. Riedel did not return a phone call seeking comment.

"For now, he has no plans for it," Zvi said. "He is going to sit on it. Nothing is going to happen with this land for a while probably."

Union Grove Village Administrator Christine Rademacher said several developers asked village officials about the Malanowski property while it was for sale. Riedel has not submitted any formal plans for the property, which lies in the Town of Yorkville.

The village had a moratorium for about two years on annexations and any building project on a non-platted property, Rademacher and Orre said. That moratorium expired in December after the village completed a project to double the size of its wastewater treatment plant and a land use agreement was reached with the Town of Yorkville.

For the Malanowski property, that land use agreement envisions mostly residential use with some commerical use along Highway 45. Some village board members have expressed interest in seeing a conservation subdivision, Rademacher said, which clusters homes together and preserves large portions of open space.

"I would like to see some residential and green space (on the Malanowski property)," Orre said. "I would not like to see anything heavily residential."

The village board recently approved a 40-home subdivision planned for the south side of town by Brookfield-based Simon Group. It was the first major development approved after the building moratorium was lifted.

Racine-based Newport Realty has an option to buy about 100 acres across Highway 45 from the Malanowski property, Orre said. The company plans to build about 130 single-family homes, some condominiums and some commercial development on the property, Orre said. The owner of Newport Realty could not be reached for comment.

Now that the village’s building moratorium has been lifted, developers are becoming more interested in Union Grove. Orre said the village’s location and good schools make it a healthy market for new housing development.

"We’re in the Chicago-to-Milwaukee corridor," he said. "We’re only five miles from the interstate."

July 23, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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