An offer to purchase for the 10-acre former cannery property in Sussex - a critical component of any downtown redevelopment plan - has been made by Milwaukee-area developer Art Sawall.
The announcement was made by Village Administrator Jeremy Smith at the meeting Thursday evening of the Sussex Community Development Authority.
Smith says Sawall's signature on the offer to purchase puts the property under contract and allows Sawall to move forward with preliminary planning and design for potential development at the site.
The acreage is zoned for multiple uses, the type of development Smith says is intended for what has come to be referred to as "Cannery Crossing" property.
The site is the former location of an industrial canning plant at the intersection of Main Street and Hwy. 74 (Waukesha Avenue) at the eastern edge of downtown.
It had been held in the past by the Beilinski company, which the village had hoped would proceed with multi-use development, but the property was surrendered to the bank when the firm experienced management struggles at about the same time that the nation fell into recession. The construction and housing industries were among the hardest hit.
Smith and Village president Tony Lapcinski explained at the CDA meeting that the potential value of the Cannery Crossing development could be as high as $50 million.
The higher property taxes to be collected by the village on that increased value would be vital to the village being able to pay for infrastructure improvements proposed as part of the conceptual downtown redevelopment plan, Smith said.