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New medical and wellness facility coming to Menomonee Falls

Cleanup nearing completion on former Stolper/Western Industries site

Aug. 21, 2012

Menomonee Falls - Froedtert Health and the Wisconsin Athletic Club are coming to Menomonee Falls after the Village Board on Monday approved an agreement for the development of a medical and wellness facility at the old Stolper/Western Industries factory.

After months of environmental cleanup at the factory site located west of Pilgrim Road and south of Highway 45, the Menomonee Falls Village Board on Monday also approved a conditional use permit for Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. for the construction of a two-story, 91,000-square-foot, dual tenant medical and wellness building.

Facility should be done by 2013

Construction of the facility is slated to begin in December and must be completed by Dec. 31, 2013, per stipulations stated in the tax incremental financing development agreement, said Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald.

"This is very exciting," said Sharon Ellis, who was acting chairman Monday, as President Randy Newman was absent. "We've been working on this for many years."

The facility will include doctors, nurses and support staff offering a variety of medical services and treatments. The WAC portion of the building will feature a 47,500-square-foot athletic club, offering health and fitness services, an indoor and outdoor pool, large fitness areas, group exercise rooms, saunas, steam rooms, tanning and massage rooms. It will also house a 4,931-square-foot retail space to be filled with related businesses.

The development will sit on the north side of Richfield Way, a roadway that the village will begin expanding in coming weeks and is meant to act as a buffer between the commercial development and future residential development.

The property is part of Tax Incremental Financing District No. 8 in a planned development district. The village purchased the property from Western Industries for $600,000. The village is spending $4.7 million on demolishing the former factory and doing the environmental cleanup work.

That money will be repaid through property taxes generated by development within the TIF district.

The village is under a tight deadline to complete its cleanup work at the factory site before the real estate transaction with Ryan Cos. can occur by the Oct. 25 deadline. Cleanup includes meeting Department of Natural Resources requirements. Fitzgerald said the work is going as planned and should be completed shortly.

Complex deal

The primary soil remediation will be done this week, followed by inspection from the DNR.

Because of groundwater contamination and DNR requirements, the old factory site will be under remediation for another two years until requisite groundwater testing can verify that there is no longer groundwater contamination on site.

"That means Ryan Companies will take ownership of this site before we complete (testing) and have a closure permit from the DNR so that creates its own complexities, and this really is based on our working relationship with Ryan that we've been able to make this agreement work under those circumstances," Fitzgerald said. "There's a variety of things you have to work through and we've been able to do that relative to this agreement."

As part of the agreement, the village will be transferring a 10.6-acre parcel that, by contract, is required to maintain an equalized assessed value of $13 million. The previous Stolper Steel/Western Industries site for the entire 17 acres had an equalized assessed value of $1,800.

"It's a phenomenal upswing," Fitzgerald said. "I think it's an exceptional first project for this corridor. We're delighted to be up to this stage."

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