Festival Foods is reconsidering its plans to build a store on the west side of Hwy. Q, just south of Woodland Drive.
According to Brian Bauman, senior vice president, general counsel, the developers of the Kilkenny West subdivision, where the store was slated, had hoped to proceed with the residential development there prior to Festival Foods construction schedule, so the grocery store representatives began to seek other locations.
Another consideration was the construction of another grocery store in the nearby Woodland Crest subdivision. Grading for a new HyVee store is currently underway on the east side of Hwy. Q south of Woodland Drive.
“We decided to expand our search just because of concerns of there being two stores directly across the street from one another,” Bauman said.
But Bauman said Festival Foods remains “fully committed” to building a store in Waunakee and is looking at two or three other sites. Bauman could not comment on where those were located.
Don Tierney, Kilkenny West developer, described how the change in plans would affect the development.
“They [Festival Foods] came to me on a handshake and said, ‘Will you help us?’ We did the best we could. They did the best they could. It didn’t work out,” Tierney told the Tribune.
Tierney said the location has “tremendous views” that otherwise would have been lost in grading for the grocery store.
“What we’re doing is putting in a real nice residential community that will be comparable to Kilkenny Farms,” Tierney said.
A convenience store had been planned in Kilkenny West, as well, and that plan is still in the works, Tierney said.
Village officials had grappled with the idea of two grocery stores at the southwest entrance to the community. After several discussions, the board opted to allow the market to decide the outcome.
At one point, the village board considered adopting an ordinance that would require the companies to maintain their buildings should they become vacant but ultimately declined to do so. The ordinance would have allowed village officials to raze the buildings if they became nuisance properties.
HyVee is building a 58,000-square-foot store just south of Woodland Drive. Several public improvements are planned, as well, including a signalized intersection at Simon Crestway and Woodland Drive, the completion of Sarah Lane through the property and other necessary infrastructure upgrades.