Johnson Creek may see second Kwik Trip

JOHNSON CREEK — In a scenario akin to one at Oconomowoc’s Interstate 94/Highway 67 intersection, where two Kwik Trip stores exist in close proximity, the LaCrosse-based gas station/convenience store chain is poised to place a second outlet in Johnson Creek near the junction of I-94 and state Highway 26.

According to Johnson Creek Administrator Kyle Ellefson, Kwik Trip’s proposal to add a second store in the village — this one north of I-94 to complement one already to the south — was scheduled to go before the village plan commission and committee of the whole Monday evening. Any action by the panels fell after Daily Times press time, but approval of the plans was expected.

According to Ellefson, the proposed new Kwik Trip would be located north of I-94, on Highway 26, on vacant land just north of the McDonald’s on the east side of the highway. The store would take up a substantial portion of that property, although exact measurements were not disclosed.

“It would be located on nearly all of the vacant land north of the McDonald’s restaurant property,” Ellefson said.

The new store would be in addition to a Kwik Trip outlet located just south of the I-94/Highway 26 intersection on the west side of the roadway near Culver’s restaurant. No changes are planned for the southerly facility.

“They would maintain and operate in both locations, serving two different customers bases,” Ellefson said.

According to the administrator, plans for the new Kwik Trip have been in the making, in terms of the village’s involvement, since fall.

“We became aware they were interested in the property to the north when they went to the plan commission in the fall of 2019,” Ellefson said. “It was then that they approached the village and we worked with them to get the project firmed up to where it’s ready for possible approval.”

Ellefson said he doesn’t see any obstacles in the path of the project and there has been no public opposition to the proposed Kwik Trip placed on record with the Village of Johnson Creek.

“Kwik Trip has a long history in Johnson Creek and the region, and they are viewed positively,” Ellefson said. “Everyone is pretty excited about this company and the fact they are planning on adding amenities, such as a car wash.”

Ellefson said the public has indicated it needs more car wash options in Johnson Creek.

“I think it will be similar in design features to other Kwik Trips, but it will be a combination truck stop and travel plaza. So it will be much like a regular Kwik Trip, but also slightly different,” Ellefson said.

All businesses in Johnson Creek have to meet decorative standards and light pollution has been addressed.

Ellefson called the proposed location of the new Kwik Trip “perfect,” because it lies in a heavily used commercial zone.

“So it does not have to fit into, or abut, a neighborhood,” Ellefson said.

Plan for the Kwik Trip could move forward with plan commission and committee of the whole approval Monday. If village approval is granted, Kwik Trip has told local officials they plan to break ground sometime this year.

“We’ve heard nothing specific yet, but it could be constructed in 2020, based on preliminary projections. They have told me they are looking at 2020 to break ground,” Ellefson said.

The village administrator said he believes Kwik Trip’s plans to add a second location relatively close to its first store in Johnson Creek is another example of Johnson Creek having a good location for another business to locate and be successful at one of the state’s busiest intersections.

“It reflects the success we had with this company, and others, in being a great place to locate if they are looking to access the high volume of traffic at I-94 and Highway 26, as well as the population of the region as a whole,” he said.

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