The Shoppes at Fox River will continue to expand.
The shopping center, which has seen substantial growth since it opened in 2009 on the former Flemings grocery distribution center off Sunset Drive, has gotten the city's OK to add more shops, including restaurants as well as a yet-unnamed anchor tenant.
With the Common Council approving the final site plan and architectural planned-unit development for the expansion, six new buildings can now be added to the site at 1180 W. Sunset Drive, west of Chapman and Spring City drives.
One of the tenants will be housed in a new 65,000-square-foot building attached to Hobby Lobby on the east side of the development.
Another is a 91,000-square-foot building for five tenants.
The other four buildings on the property total 31,000 square feet. Two of the buildings will include a drive-through option, according to the development plans.
Edward Wizner, vice president of development/redevelopment for Ramco Gershenson Properties Trust, has previously said 'a large sporting goods store' was an interested potential tenant for the shopping center. He also said a well-known national restaurant has shown interest and other soft goods stores could be options for the site.
Waiting for the sign
Before the council gave the site plan its final approval, Wizner said his team is ready to construct 'almost immediately,' assuming it gets the green light from the Sign Review Board.
That panel just has to approve the changes for new entrance signs at the shopping center. Under Ramco's proposal, new signs would be constructed on the east and west side of the site, replacing the current ones, and adding an additional sign in the center of the property.
The city's Plan Commission had unanimously approved the site plan at its most recent meeting.
The subsequent common council's approval was also conditional on the developer and city's Department of Public Works staff working toward a solution to 'some issues' related to Sunset Drive.
Dollars and sense
Wizner said the site will produce $500,000 annually in property taxes, which he added is 'over and above what's coming off the development currently.'
Ramco is paying for the $25 million expansion.
The developers are also adding more green space to the site.
'It will create additional pedestrian-friendly, bicycle-friendly areas, meeting areas for employees and customers,' Wizner said. 'It will also connect the pathways to Fox River Park and back for bicycles and pedestrians.'
The additional buildings will join a shopping center that includes anchor tenants Target, Pick 'n Save, TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby, which opened this spring.
Many national food chains and retail options, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Noodles & Company, Maurices, Charming Charlie and Rue 21 are also part of the center.
'We've really enjoyed the process, getting to know everyone (in the city) and hope that relationship will continue and strengthen,' Wizner said.