What Should Be Built in the Former Cannery Property?

The huge vacant corner has been under discussion for over a year. What's your take?

For Sussex Patch’s second  column, let’s turn our attention toward the former .

Located at the corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue, the 10-acre plot has been in negotiations for over a year, mainly due to the location of the . One-eighth of an acre needs to be moved to develop on the land.

, a Brookfield man who purchased the property in Jan. 2010, has been working with the village to get federal permission to move the trail from the center of the property to the outskirts.

Because the former Bugline Railroad provided drop-offs and pick-ups 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.

Once the Bugline trail is approved for relocation, Sawall envisions five buildings, either three or four stories high, comprised of roughly 135 units of "high-end housing." 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.

He has his ideas, and we have ours.

Considering very little progress has been made on the site, there’s still time to feed Sawall ideas as to what Sussex residents would like to see occupy that space. And with a 10-acre canvas, let your imaginations run wild.

Tell us in the comments below: What would you like to see built at this massive, centrally located and corner property?

Andy Ambrosius (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I like the sound of Sawall's idea, especially with that quarry in the back of the property. It could be transformed into a cool park for tenants.
Chris February 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I would love to see the quarry have a trail and/or pier that is open to the public, it would be nice to have a place to fish that is IN Sussex. (Does that quarry have fish?) As for housing...is anyone really clamoring for more "high end" housing in Sussex? If they could line up buyers first and "build to suit" I'd be less skeptical, but I'd be disappointed if this turned into apartments because of unsold units. I'm afraid that's what is going to happen on the Southeast side of town as well. As for what to put in there...that's tough to say. We need SOMETHING there...it's been a blight for years, and if the downtown development is going to be successful we'll need something to anchor it. Just what kind of businesses is tough to say. We've had any number of aborted projects (YMCA) and store fronts come and go. Restaurants have come and gone with mixed success, and as of late have been very similar to each other. I would love to see some kind of book seller that would make a go of it. Some place unique to buy fresh, healthy foods would also be welcome. I'm being somewhat selfish in that I'm trying to think of things that I currently have to travel to other communities for.
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 04:09 PM
If that huge corner was a massive YMCA (and maybe some other little shops), my life would be complete. That would serve the community so well.
Joan February 02, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I would like to see a high end grocery store (like a Sendik's or Brennans).
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Would Trader Joe's count? I love that store SO much.
Katie Mescher Glafcke February 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Speaking from experience as a former apartment manager of high-end residential units in two brand new mixed-use buildings in Brookfield: its going to take YEARS to fill all the space Sawall proposes to develop. Nevertheless, his idea for the quarry pond is commendable and something novel for Sussex. I love to see that happen! Sussex has more than enough pubs but could really use a true family-style restaurant, something like The Mineshaft or Chancery. A casual cafe/bakery/deli along the lines of City Market or Nino's would be good too. Trader Joe's would certainly be a welcome addition - but something tells me that's a long shot.
Rick Vodicka February 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
As a person that lives very close to this property, I'm very, very skeptical of anything that includes the multi-family, or "high-end apartments". Once its approved for multi-family use, there will be no way to stop it from turning into something much different than "high-end apartments". If this was to be some sort of condo housing, maybe...but anything with the word apartment in it is a non-starter for me. I would like to see something along the lines of an expanded Gas Station, maybe Clark could re-locate across the street and be set up more like a Kwik Trip. I like the idea of a specialty shops or like a Sendiks, but we already have two grocery stores and a lot of open spaces in the current village strip malls. We have a lot of bar/grill type of places, but a high end restaurant is one thing that might do pretty well. I'm not sure if anything can be done with the old quarry, but if so, there's some definite potential there as well.
Chris February 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
The idea of a deli is very appealing, I'll second that! Trader Joe's or something like Penzey's spice outlet would also be on my radar as well. Something that would work as a stop for people using the Bugline would be good as well (bakery/coffee like Katie mentioned would probably fit that bill).
Kathy Appazeller February 05, 2012 at 03:34 PM
A nice quilt shop would be great.
Erik (Farmer Brown) Bunk March 08, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I have been lucky enough to grow up in Sussex with the knowledge that the quarry was a swimming hole many years ago, unfortunately that was closed up before I ever truly got to swim there...It has been under semi lock and key since. I have also had the benefit of being an adventurous youth back when things in Sussex seemed so much smaller and slower, and got to experience the true beauty of the "Old Sussex Quarry" that was hidden behind the remaining shell of what I knew as the Friday Canning Company. I learned from the older kids, and in turn I shared that spot with those younger than me...that there was a hidden gem to explore, hideout, or just sit in solitude reflecting on the perceptions of a preteen attempting to rationalize the world outside of that haven.
Erik (Farmer Brown) Bunk March 08, 2012 at 11:13 PM
There was great fishing there for many years, and after that discovery...those who did fish there became part of a silent group of folks who learned that the fish stocked there so many years before, flourished in the spring fed microcosm that existed mostly untouched after the swimming holes closure. The rumored stories that sounded like impossible "fish tales", like 9inch panfish being caught at astonishing rates of 30 an hour!..with little more than 12ft of line and a crudely fashioned lure, to the massive Largemouth bass that haunted the shallows under the twisted weeping willows near the now unrecognizable man made beach, and their regular sighting but rare heart stopping capture due to the ample food supply! As with many rumors...they tend to be based a variable mixture of truth and legend. If we could only ask the legendary ancient lone snapping turtle that could rob a stringer full of trophy bluegills with skills that a ninja would be amazed by!
Erik (Farmer Brown) Bunk March 09, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I have often wondered what would come of that property, and wished that I had been in the know, or position to by the property. I would have removed as much evidence of its previous occupation, return it to as much of a natural setting as possible tipping back the balance of benefit to the remaining inhabitants, both of human and animal kind, I could imagine forming a nature preserve trust, that would allow public access and limited usage for fishing based on sustainable population management and a lottery style license granted by stewards of the trust, available to families in the area who are in need, or to reward members of our youth community who understand the connection that remains between locations such as these, and those who inhabit the surrounding area, and those I hope would be grateful for the thoughtfulness of the fore bearers of such a trust. It is bittersweet knowing that I can not influence the direction of a place that was a cornerstone upon which I built my understanding of suburban nature, and the community in which it nurtures, and beckons those who are adventurous enough to seek out the source of what resonates in us at the molecular level..when we begin to tune in and listen again....or for the first time.
A guy April 22, 2012 at 10:08 PM
"Upscale housing/condos", Ms. Glafcke is dead on. "How about a book store", I'm pretty sure there's one of those going out of business over by Su Casa. "Trader Joe's", We don't need any more grocery store competition. Trendy types of businesses are barely making it happen over by TJ Max in Germ town (Plenty of vacant store front). Do we really want a yuppie magnet placed right in the center of town? "YMCA?", Yeah lets put a building that you have to pay money to go running in right on top of the free trail we use for running on. Look Sussex is a cool little town and it should stay that way. We're already trying to kill everything that's unique about it. -M&M cafe (We didn't need George Webs!) -The good old Piggly Wiggly (Picknslave has done enough damage, no more grocery stores! Remember PDQ?) -NAPA (We didn't need Auto zone!) -JEM photo (We let bock buster kill it, then BB it killed itself Haha!) -The rock shop (Umm... I don't know, but don't mess with it!)
A guy April 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Do yourself a favor, find the hole that some kids cut in the fence around the Quarry and go check it out. The place is cool as hell, its like a lost world right under every ones nose. It should belong to the community for everyone to enjoy. Not the back yard of another heartless neon sign chain store. The nature preserve idea is good and I'd be fine with that, but maybe we could improve..... If it was done correctly and with minimal invasion of the habitat(not just paving the whole thing), some sort of drive in or pick nick blanket style out door movie theater in the big open section. Farmers market/flea market during the day, community get together at night, awesome. And why not bring back the old swimming hole for the quarry section. My Mom used to go swimming there all the time when she was a kid. Its ridiculous to keep it under lock and chain. The Lannon quarry is absolutely packed in the summer. There's more than enough demand. Actually you know what forget everything I said, lets build another bank.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something