Negotiations between Sturtevant and SC Johnson have ended in the dead end of a cul de sac for Willow Road.
At the village board meeting Tuesday, trustees are expected to approve a resolution dismantling a special negotiating committee that was tasked with working out a deal with SCJ over a 2.6-acre parcel of land needed to redirect Willow Road so it connects with what is now 84th Street.
After years of talks that didn’t lead anywhere, Sturtevant in May approved a relocation order and filed a claim for eminent domain. SCJ responded with letters from CEO Fisk Johnson questioning whether or not the company would continue manufacturing operations at their Waxdale plant.
Village President Steve Jansen last month appointed Village Engineer Jeff Seitz, Village Administrator/Clerk Mary Cole, Assessor (and former Administrator) Jim Henke, and former Administrator Mark Janiuk to a committee to hammer out a deal with SC Johnson, but those talks apparently have fallen apart.
The resolution dissolving the committee reads, in part, “WHEREAS, it has become apparent to the Village Board that the development that was anticipated to result from the relocation and of Willow Road north of STH 11 is not likely to occur to the extent to justify the expenditure of significant tax-payer dollars for the and extension of Willow Road north of STH 11.”
Sources close to the village told Racine County Eye that condo owners in the Cobble Court development just north of Durand Avenue have begun receiving offers-to-purchase from SC Johnson, and the company is also interested in purchasing parcels that front Highway 11.
Originally designed as a mixed-use development with commercial and retail outlets fronting the condos, planned townhomes and single-family houses, only a handful of condo buildings were completed before the Great Recession of 2008. Since then, most of the Cobble Court frontage land has grown wild but is still viable for new development, and the company is reportedly negotiating the purchase of those parcels as well.
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