Arby’s is latest addition to Plover’s niche shopping center
By Jacob Mathias
After a sluggish 2014, officials in Plover say development in Village Park is booming- and the newest shopping center in the area is now nearing capacity.
The Plover development was planned to balance busy daytime shopping with a thriving night life to accommodate both travelers and nearby residents.
“Being adjacent to the interstate, it really creates a higher demand especially for commercial and retail types of development,” said Dan Mahoney, village administrator.
The newest addition to Village Park includes Arby’s restaurant, the third in the Metro Area. That building is currently under construction but no completion date has been announced.
Many other parcels in the park have been sold for retail use, he said, though no site plans have yet been submitted. The next step, according to Mahoney, is infilling on smaller plots.
“I think we’re just going to aggressively go after our plans that we’ve been working on the past 10 or 12 years and just stay on the course,” said newly-seated Village President Tom Davies. “We have an excellent reputation for dealing with people and that’s a good thing. We look forward to a lot of growth.”
Mahoney said the shopping park isn’t designed to compete with Crossroads Commons. While Plover residents have voiced support for a Red Lobster, Olive Garden or Barnes and Noble Book Store, but he added village demographics would not support those businesses.
“[Developers] have done a great job of is creating a unique niche down here,” he said. “The craft brew and alcohol industry in association with a hotel and some pretty neat restaurants has really made it a very nice mix.”
Before the park was created in 2005, the property was home to Rainbow Falls Waterpark and the Manufacturers Direct Mall. Once those attractions closed, village leaders created a TIF district to fund the initial development of the property, and a relationship with Lokre Development paved the way for $45 million in growth.
The first development in the park was Mark Toyota, followed by a strip mall and numerous other buildings. Soon, businesses like Great Northern Distillery, O’so Brewing and Christian’s Bistro turned into local hot spots.
But now village leaders say they’re turning attention to a new high-end apartment complex in the park. Initial plans for eight 11-unit buildings were approved last November, and Mahoney said construction should begin sometime this spring.