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Poised for growth: Prairie Lakes developers still dreaming big in Sun Prairie

(page 2 of 3)

It’s also a consideration that feeds into the company’s long-term goals.

“We would like to bring an element of fashion into Prairie Lakes, whether it be a department store or whether it be the type of fashion users you would see in a mall that are not necessarily located on the east side of Madison, a JoS. A. Bank, a J.Jill, or a Talbots. And as we continue to build out with the bigger users and then start filling in with the smaller multitenant space, like the Starbucks and those kind of users, all of a sudden that starts to attract attention.”

Location, location, location

Of course, much has been made of Marcus Theatres’ decision to locate on the Prairie Lakes site instead of in the city of Madison. While Fedler is careful not to wade too deeply into the ongoing intercity controversy over the merits of building in Madison versus surrounding communities, he does note that Sun Prairie provided a welcoming environment for his company’s development.

“Where else can you go where you can drop off your application and have your approvals in six to seven weeks, and you can be in the ground if you have all your engineering done, etc., within two months?” asked Fedler. “That’s pretty amazing. I mean, Marcus was approved, I think it was seven weeks, and Costco might have taken a little bit longer because there were a few little tweaks to the buildings, but it was eight or nine. That’s a big deal.”

But while Fedler no doubt saw the opportunity to work with Sun Prairie as a plus, the siting of the development primarily followed changes in the built environment – and in that respect, the company had the expertise of a real estate savant in partner Jerry Conner.

“For fun, Jerry likes to find real estate,” said Fedler. “When he goes on a vacation, he goes places and looks at real estate. And I don’t care where he is. You could send him to Seattle and within three hours he’ll be in a real estate office someplace looking at real estate – on vacation. That’s what he does.

“So when [Ron] and Jerry learned about this interchange going in, they saw the possibilities there.”

Gaining steam?

While Fedler fairly exudes confidence, you could forgive him if he still feels buffeted by the ill economic winds of the past several years. Today, Prairie Lakes is about 40% built out, but if you’d asked him in 2006 where the development would be by now, he would have likely said fully built and up and running (if not sprinting). Of course, everyone’s expectations changed with the abrupt popping of the real estate bubble in 2008, and commercial developers were among the hardest hit.

With recent indications that the economy may be finding firmer footing, particularly in the real estate sector, the future would appear to be brighter for Prairie Lakes. Perhaps the biggest indication that the area was poised to become a commercial powerhouse was the recent construction of a monstrous Woodman’s grocery store – visible to traffic from U.S. 151 – just east of the development. (While Woodman’s is not officially part of Fedler’s and Connery’s development, as an anchor retailer, it pulls considerable weight and is seen as a welcome addition.)

Old to new | New to old
Apr 2, 2013 11:41 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Perhaps we should focus on raising the much needed funds to be able to build the Sun Prairie Ice Rink for the Sun Prairie Hockey players and Figure Skating instead of a shopping center. This has been in the works for years and are still $700,000 short of the goal!
If you have money to invest, the ICE RINK would be a great place to start!

Jun 18, 2013 07:15 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I would love to see a Cost Plus World Market move into this area!

Jun 25, 2013 06:21 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anything besides a bank, credit union, dentist, eye care would be highly beneficial to this new area. How about a decent restaurant in Sun Prairie? Or a nice bar with great food..aka much like Alchemy. Draw the foot traffic!

Jul 2, 2013 01:04 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Still waiting for the new Marcus Theatre to get build after 3+ years of waiting. But overall love the direction this area is going. Hoping a really nice resturant comes to the area along with a Fleet Feet or something along those lines. Tons of running and biking trails in Sun Prairie so would love to see Fleet Feet expand to the east side.

Aug 26, 2013 12:59 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

We need upscale dining options, not fast food. Although I'm excited about which wich.....Something Madison doesn't have like Cheesecake Factory, Buca, or a steakhouse perhaps which is hard to find on the east side.

Oct 3, 2014 09:16 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The Cheesecake Factory would actually bring people to Sun Prairie-I live there and that is the only reason I go to Sun Prairie. We have 1 nice restaurant with quality food - Buck & Honeys - give people a reason to go there. The Cheesecake Factory is a great restaurant-not just the deserts - the food is execellent. Filling Prairie Lakes with fast food isn't going to get shoppers from the south and west side of Madison over here. Put 1 thing in Sun Prairie that you can't get anywhere else in Madison and they will show up.

Oct 2, 2017 10:52 pm
 Posted by  TreeHugger

Totally agree with the comments about getting better restaurants in Sun Prairie! Too many junk and fast food restaurants. If I want a nice meal, I drive into Madison. Buck and Honey's is good, but getting too expensive for me. I still can't believe I have lived here in SP for 11 years and there still is no where to shop for professional clothes (Chico's or another one) or cool bars with outdoor seating and quality restaurants. Buca di Beppo should move here. They would do GREAT business as it is family oriented, same with Cheesecake Factory or what about a local, Italian or Greek restaurant that had healthy food choices. NO more chain fast food. Sun Prairie is really for families and not for single, middle-aged professionals wanting to meet other people. If you have young kids, this city is for you, if not, move to Middleton or Madison. I am seriously considering it as SP property taxes are outrageous! So is Madison and Middleton, but at least there are more things to do than in boring SP.

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