by Charles Collier, The Denmark News
DENMARK — The final steps of municipal approval were hurdled on Tuesday afternoon for a Kwik Trip gas station and convenience store near the intersection of Interstate 43 and State Highway 96 on Denmark’s west end.
“I think Kwik Trip’s roots have always been in small town Wisconsin,” said Kwik Trip real estate development manager Troy Mleziva before members of Denmark’s Village Board. “We want to reach everyone in the village and maybe draw some people off the interstate to see what it’s like here.”
President Gregg Mleziva (not related to Kwik Trip’s representative) and Trustee Paul Hargarten were both enthusiastic with the latter part of the statement.
“You must have done a study or something that made us stick out,” Hargarten said, happy with the development but still looking forward. “Maybe you could give us some of that information so we can get others to come here.”
President Mleziva said development interest in the Village has been, “multiples and multiples of times” higher following Kwik Trip’s interest and that the question of further economic projects are, “not an ‘if’, but instead how fast.”
Despite the enthusiasm, the newest addition to the Village will likely not break ground until next spring. Wetland protection surveys required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are one factor contributing to the delay, as is the sheer size of Kwik Trip and the magnitude of its corporate goals.
Mleziva said that the company is also managing new projects between Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, and that approval of the plans and two conditional use permits puts Denmark on the list for completion. He said the groundbreaking date was hard to gage, but anticipated the project would start next spring and be within the company’s typical four-month timetable from moving dirt to opening doors.
An estimated $2 million will be invested for a 9,000 sq. ft. convenience store, ten gasoline pumps and eight diesel pumps, parking spaces for semi-trucks and a truck scale, as well as two outdoor patio areas. The plans include 45% green space—untypically high for Kwik Trip stores—including shrub-like landscaping and flat grass.
The location will be open 24-hours and its lighted pylon sign will be planted just behind the Associates Insurance building on the corner of De Pere Rd. and Bohemia Dr., leading visitors from Interstate 43 into the village. Flexing for the changing of seasons, the store is expected to employ 28 to 35 full- and part-time employees.
“Our payrolls are almost always north of half-of-a-million dollars,” Mleziva said of the positions.
Public Works Director Erika Sisel said there were no issues from an engineering standpoint other than a few aspects of the utilities which would be handled in construction, like installing a new water lateral. Water from the car wash will be partially reclaimed for use in undercarriage flushes by the company while the rest will be managed through the Village’s sanitary sewer system without complication.