With development at Mammoth Springs – formerly known as Cannery Crossing – moving along at a snail's pace, representatives with Waukesha County say they're not waiting for the green light to lay asphalt on the Bugline Trail straight through the property.
Dave Burch, Waukesha County's enterprise operations manager, says he's through with waiting, and he hasn't heard any news Mammoth Springs is close to development.
"The village has been working on plans to redevelop that for decades, and the county owns the right-of-way that cuts right through that property," Burch said. "If we waited for them, which we currently are, it could case a big delay in paving the Bugline. We haven't even seen any final plans yet... If they had everything together, we could include that in our project."
Sussex Village Administrator Jeremy Smith says the money used to acquire the Bugline has many rules and regulations regarding sale and development, so relocating the trail off the property is just another timing issue. He added that while he would love to give a timeline regarding development at Mammoth Springs, he doesn't have one.
Development on the 10-acre plot on the corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue has been in negotiations for more than a year, mainly due to the Bugline Trail’s location. Because the former Bugline Railroad provided dropoffs and pickups of railroad freight cars to the sprawling cannery factory, the rails ran essentially right through the center of the parcel, as does the Bugline trail today.
"Unfortunately things are going slower than we had all thought. Nevertheless, things are progressing and I am very excited about this project."
Arthur Sawall, a Brookfield man who purchased the property in January 2010, has been working with the village to get permission to move the trail from the center of the property to the outskirts.
"Unfortunately things are going slower than we had all thought," Sawall said in an email on Thursday. "Nevertheless, things are progressing and I am very excited about this project. Given the delays, it has allowed us to even further refine the project and make it even that much better. I am confident because of this we will be able to offer a much better product and project for the community and the village of course."
All the details and negotiations regarding the project happens behind closed doors. But the timing delays are more than anyone expected, with Sussex’s next tax increment financing district proposed for a new business park rather than a downtown Mammoth Springs development. In Sept. 2011, Sawall said he was hoping to have a solution to the Bugline within two weeks.
And in the latest Patch Poll, readers voted the former Cannery corner as the project in Sussex they are most interested in, taking nearly 60 percent of the votes.
“Please hurry this up,” Mike said in the comments. “That corner has been an eye sore for 10-plus years already. Considering it's the main entryway into Sussex it needs to be done NOW.”
When the problems are finally sorted out, Sawall said he envisions five buildings, either three or four stories high, comprised of roughly 135 units of "high-end housing" at Mammoth Springs. They would have underground parking.
He also envisions two retail and commercial-use buildings of either one or two stories, each with easy-access surface parking and filled with retail stores, offices and a coffee shop or restaurant.