Shaffer to develop 13 acres in Mequon Town Center district

Mequon — The Mequon Common Council has chosen Mequon-based Shaffer Development to develop 13.4 acres of city-owned land north of Mequon Road, between the railroad tracks and Buntrock Avenue.

Mequon solicited proposals from developers in July, offering to sell the land for $1 to a developer who could generate $25 million in additional property value and build on the spirit of the town center zoning district, which prioritizes pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use developments with outdoor gathering spaces. 

After considering proposals from six developers, the Mequon Common Council on Nov. 11 chose Shaffer Development, which is best known in Mequon for its work on the Mequon Town Center development at Mequon and Cedarburg roads. Commercial space in the Mequon Town Center is 95 percent leased. Colectivo Coffee opened Monday, Nov. 16, and construction is underway at Ruby Tap and Cafe Hollander.

Shaffer Development owner Cindy Shaffer said her Heritage Commons proposal creates a combination of retail, residential, community venues and green space designed to create an active, engaging space for residents and visitors. 

"I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to create a legacy development in the city of Mequon," she said. "It is a rare opportunity to be able to collaborate with adjacent properties and work in your home town."

Shaffer is also working on a 72-unit mixed use apartment project in Grafton. That project, titled "The Lumberyard 1505," is slated to start in spring 2016.

Mequon Mayor Dan Abendroth said Heritage Commons marks a "transformative development" in the Town Center district.

"We fully expect the Town Center Heritage Commons to become a gathering place for residents and visitors," Abendroth said. "We are excited to have a development project that capitalizes on our city's rich history while providing an easily accessible community, residential and retail space."

Kim Tollefson, the city's director of community development, said the purchase and development agreement will be completed by the end of January.

Six developers applied for the opportunity to develop the 13.4 acres of land in the Mequon Town Center district. That pool was narrowed to three finalists: United Financial Group, Shaffer Development and WiRED Properties, which co-developed the Mequon Town Center project with Shaffer Development. 

The city was willing to sell the property for $1 in order to create additional value in Tax Incremental District #3. TID 3 was created in 2008, and has since generated between $30 million and $40 million in value. The TID is scheduled to close in 2028.