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Developer discusses building fulfillment center in Lawrence, as residents seek answers

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Wis. (WBAY) - For the past several weeks, the town of Lawrence’s planning and zoning board has heard a proposal to build a large warehouse on farmland along Freedom Road near Interstate 41.

“So everybody knows, there’s no action tonight at all but the public hearing would probably be the next meeting that they come to,” Town of Lawrence Administrator Patrick Wetzel said at Wednesday night’s meeting.

It was held virtually and in-person at town hall in Lawrence.

The Dallas-based developer of the project’s proposal Trammell Crow revealed more details of its plans during a presentation and discussed what it would bring to the community, as several people sat in attendance.

“This facility will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is important to note,” Morgan Baer Blaska, senior associate of the Midwest Business Unit at Trammell Crow, said.

Trammell Crow is seeking to build a 90 foot tall warehouse describing it as a fulfillment center, although the commercial real estate developer didn’t identify the company that would occupy the facility.

“We would anticipate from a very conservative analysis around 400 to 500 vehicles in our peak AM and PM hour with about 5% of those vehicles being trucks, so that would be about 20 to 30 trucks,” Baer Blaska said.

According to Trammell Crow, the warehouse would create 1,000 to 1,500 new full time jobs on the 152 acre lot that currently sits empty.

The presentation lasted less than 45 minutes with only some members on the board asking questions. After the developers left, a few in attendance voiced their frustrations with the board.

“You guys need to understand how frustrating that is to have these folks here, hardly any questions from you guys,” one woman said to board members. The meeting wasn’t open to public comment.

Another resident told Action 2 News he takes issue with a lack of transparency from the board.

“It makes since that that area is developed with some semi traffic given the proximity to [Interstate 41], but it doesn’t address the employees driving right on Williams Grant Dr, which is literally our driveway,” Matt Sullivan said.

A public hearing for the proposed development where residents can share their thoughts is scheduled for Wednesday, November 17 at 6 p.m.

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