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Indoor shooting range in works in Lannon

Another developer wants to build apartments

Sept. 4, 2012

Lannon - Construction is expected to begin next year on a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range off Main Street near Becker Drive.

Village President Jerry Newman said the project has been in the works for almost two years. Architectural drawings were recently done, and the Plan Commission last week did a conceptual review of plans for the building to house the range, retail sales, food service and training-observation areas.

"It's going to be an extremely specialized building. There are not many like it in the entire United States. It will be the most state-of-the-art thing around here," Newman said.

Steve and Tammy Ritzo are the applicants; they own Schneider Excavating, also in Lannon. Newman said the range will be open to the public and for Waukesha County law enforcement training.

"There will be some type of club membership," he said.

Newman said the Ritzos own a large portion of property near Main Street where they are proposing the range. He said they were looking for ideas on how to develop it, and an indoor range is something that is of demand in the area. He said they have also discussed the possibility of developing a convenience store, also in the area, at a later date.

Apartments downtown

Newman said another developer is interested in the prospect of developing an apartment complex at Good Hope and Lannon. Developer Ronald Merkel of Countryside Builders in Menomonee Falls has had two discussions with village officials about the details of the project.

"It would be right in the heart of Lannon. Last night (Aug. 30) we talked about details and design because we're quite concerned with the way it would look at the Good Hope and Main Street intersection. We want something that's architecturally nice," Newman said.

Newman said he anticipates there will be an increased demand for this type of housing in this area because of the impending expansion of Kohl's corporate headquarters in neighboring Menomonee Falls.

"That will bring 3,000 people right down the road from Lannon, so I anticipate it will impact the area to some degree," he said, adding that banks are only interested in lending for apartment residential development currently.

Lannon residential development Whispering Ridge, which was originally planned as all condos, took a turn last year in its approach to seek approval of changing its development plan to build apartments instead of condos. The developers late last year approached the village on the matter, saying apartments were more attractive than condos in today's market.

Developers have been working with officials on the design of apartments. When officials initially agreed to consider the change, they said a primary condition would be that the apartments are higher-end. Newman said last week that the developers are looking at financing packages and investment groups for the project.

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