Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:05
With building starting in spring, store officials expect summer opening
It was a slow start gaining approval for the Saukville Kwik Trip gas station and convenience store, but signs of those plans becoming reality began to take shape last week.
Major site work started on the 5.5-acre lot at the northeast corner of Highway 33 and Foster Street.
According to Hans Zietlow, Kwik Trip’s director of real estate development, the lot will be the site of a considerable amount of activity in the coming weeks.
“The intent is to do the groundwork this fall so come spring we are ready to begin construction,” Zietlow said.
Construction is expected to take about three months, meaning the store could be open by next August.
When work is complete, a 5,600-square-foot store, fueling station and car wash will stand on the site.
Company officials estimated the total project will add $4 million to the Village of Saukville’s tax base.
Although those improvements include buildings and a substantial parking area, a good portion of that value will be underground in the form of double-walled fuel tanks and other sophisticated measures to safeguard the local watershed.
A system of curbing and storm sewers will also be installed to keep accidentally spilled fuel from reaching the nearby Milwaukee River.
The proximity to the waterway was a crucial stumbling block in the approval process since Saukville has an ordinance prohibiting fueling stations within 600 feet of wetlands.
After reviewing the precautionary steps Kwik Trip intended to put into place, that restriction was waived by the village.
The company has also been marketing an outlot on the north side of the parcel for additional commercial development, including a possible restaurant or hotel.
Zietlow said the company has received several inquiries about the outlot, but did not want to reveal the names of prospective buyers.
“If an offer is accepted, we could be looking at construction at the same time the store is being built or slightly later,” he said.
The convenience store will be open 24/7 and is expected to employ between 25 and 30 people.
The Kwik Trip chain opened its first store in 1965 in Eau Claire and now has more than 450 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
The chain, which is based in La Crosse, has more than 12,000 employees.