The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Waukesha County officials are waiting to see the plans for Pabst Farms before agreeing to release the funds for the interstate exit.
But county officials say they won't authorize spending the county money allocated for the interchange before they see the names of stores committed to the mall project and determine whether the proposed "lifestyle center" will have the regional draw promised by developers.
"We have to have some names that would be recognized as a regional draw, that was part of the bargain," said Norm Cummings, county director of administration, who helped broker the agreement among the state, county and city to finance the interchange. "It has to be different from other shopping centers."
Thad Nation, a spokesman for Pabst Farms and mall builder Developers Diversified Realty, said developers may not be ready in a few months to divulge the names of retailers planning to locate stores in the Towne Center.
But he emphasized that they would deliver on their promise that the mall will house stores not currently located in southeastern Wisconsin that would lure shoppers from a wide area.
"I think under any scenario, this will be a regional retail center," Nation said.
Revised plans for the shopping center got a cool reception from some Oconomowoc aldermen and county supervisors after developers indicated more common stores, such as Target and OfficeMax, may be anchors in the Pabst Farms mall, as they are in other malls built by Developers Diversified Realty.
I'll repeat what I said before. It may become "a regional retail center" but the question is whether it will merely compete with the already existing retail or provide something completely different. If it's not something completely different, then why bother? Why expend state and county resources to build just another strip mall between here and whatever there? Better to leave the field vacant until someone has a better plan. That's if the current developers have any plan at all.