The Cambridge Kwik Trip would move to a 5.8 acre site on the southwest corner of the State Highway 134 and U.S. Highway 12-18 intersection, under a plan shared this week by developer Todd Schultz.
Where the two highways intersect is also poised to be added either a roundabout or a 4-way stoplight.
Schultz, of Cambridge Real Estate Ventures, told the Cambridge Plan Commission on Oct. 11 that his firm has an accepted offer from Kwik Trip, now operating on a 1-acre site at 424 W. Main St., to buy the 5.8 acres to relocate.
Kwik Trip has owned the West Main Street site since December 2020, when it bought a former Stop N Go there and converted it into a Kwik Trip.
No Kwik Trip representatives were at the Plan Commission meeting.
Schultz also told the Plan Commission that his firm has an accepted offer from a Madison buyer for a second, 20-acre lot immediately south of the site Kwik Trip is preparing to move to. Schultz said that buyer builds commercial space for rent and is currently evaluating what types of businesses might be appropriate there.
Both lots are envisioned to be accessed via a new entrance road at the upgraded highway intersection.
The Plan Commission on Oct. 11 took a key step, recommending that the village board approve certified survey map for Schultz’s two lots. The Cambridge Village Board was to consider that recommendation on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Schultz said he had no information on Kwik Trip’s future plans for the West Main Street site.
In-between the current and proposed future Kwik Trip sites are 7 acres of wetlands and Schultz said the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources won’t allow buildings to be constructed on.
In a quick, unofficial voice poll, plan commission members said they would prefer a stoplight rather than a roundabout at the upgrade intersection.
Schultz said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in recent discussions, has leaned toward wanting a roundabout. He noted that they are much more expensive to build than a stoplight. As currently proposed, Schultz would be responsible for the intersection upgrade cost.
Schultz also said that, based on recent conversations with the DOT, highway traffic could continue to flow through the area while the intersection is upgraded to include a stoplight. But during construction of a roundabout, all traffic through the area would have to be rerouted.
Plan Commission members said Cambridge’s experience about 15 years ago with traffic being diverted during reconstruction of U.S. Highway 12 makes the prospect of a project that again shuts down Main Street not appealing.
All of this is in addition to plans for 114 acres, just to the west of the two lots discussed on Oct. 7.
Schultz would like to develop that 114 acres, currently owned by town of Christiana farmers Tina and Duane Hinchley, for housing and business use if the village can be convinced to annex it and offer tax incremental financing.
The Hinchleys currently have a contract with Invenergy, LLC, of Chicago, to put solar panels on that acreage as part of the proposed 6,300-acre Koshkonong Solar Energy Center in the towns of Christiana and Deerfield that’s now under review by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
In a recent joint letter to the village board, the Hinchleys, Invenergy and Schultz urged Cambridge to drop its opposition to the solar farm and to embrace this proposed development on the site instead of solar panels, and to give it TIF assistance.
In other matters on Oct. 7, the plan commission recommended granting Tony and Mandi Buonincontro, of Villa Buonincontro, LLC, a conditional use permit to open a 6-room boutique hotel in a historic downtown building.
The Buonincontros have spent this year renovating the site at 117 W. Main St.
Tony Buonincontro told the commission the building plans recently received state approval, and word is expected soon on a Wisconsin Econmic Development grant applied for with the help of the village of Cambridge.
He said he doesn’t plan to apply for a liquor license or to serve any kind of food, in hopes that guests will visit restaurants and bars in the surrounding blocks.
“Our intent is that that we bring customers in, and the community serves them,” he said.
There will be common space inside the hotel available for guest to gather with food they bring in themselves, and there’s a vision for a small outdoor gathering space, too, Buonincontro said.
Plan commission member Chuck Franklin called the plans “a great thing for Main street and a great thing for that building.”