RACINE COUNTY — Casey’s General Store has a gas station/convenience store location scheduled to open in early 2018 and three proposed locations in the works in western Racine County.
James Pistillo, Casey’s vice president of accounting and treasurer, who is based at the company’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, said the company sees a wealth of opportunities in Wisconsin.
“Casey’s operates roughly 2,000 stores as of today, where we have a strong concentration in communities that are around 5,000 people or less,” said Pistillo by email. “The State of Wisconsin, and Racine County in particular, has many communities that fit that profile, so it is natural for us to want to grow our presence here.”
The first scheduled Racine County Casey’s location is the Fairway Shell at 991 Main St. (Highway 20/83 at Buena Park Road) in Waterford. Pistillo said Casey’s purchase of the location is scheduled to close next week; then the store is to transition and re-open as a Casey’s.
Casey’s presented its proposal for another location at 2728 Beck Drive, at the intersection of Highway 36 and Highway 20 in Rochester, to the Plan Commission and Village Board in November. The Plan Commission is scheduled to revisit the proposal at its Jan. 3 meeting and the first public hearing is scheduled for their Jan. 8 Village Board meeting.
Hurdles in Burlington, Union Grove
Not all the company’s proposed projects have moved along as easily.
The City of Burlington’s Plan Commission reviewed a proposal and held its first public hearing on Dec. 12 for a proposed Casey’s location at 100 and 124 S. Dodge St. in downtown Burlington. The commission decided to table the rezoning request and application for a conditional-use permit.
City Administrator Carina Walters said the commission was concerned that the structure did not fit with the area’s aesthetics and asked that Casey’s revisit the commission once they’ve adapted their proposal.
In Union Grove, Village Clerk and Treasurer Jill Firkus said the proposed Casey’s at the corner of Highway 11 and 69th Drive could be a “lengthy process.”
The proposed parcel is currently 43 acres, which the developers plan on dividing into smaller plots. Casey’s representatives went before the village’s Planning Commission to receive a conditional-use permit on Nov. 6, but the commission did not want to grant it until the plot had been divided.
Firkus said that as of Friday, the proposal was not scheduled for either the Planning Commission or Village Board meetings on Jan. 8, though she said Casey’s has entered a pre-development agreement, suggesting they’re committed to the project.
Kwik Trip territory
The closest Casey’s to Racine County is in Elkhorn, about 14 miles west of Burlington in Walworth County. There also are a few scattered in northern Illinois and along Interstate 90 in Beloit, Janesville and Milton.
Pistillo said the company is looking at many locations across the state for potential Casey’s sites. He said they’re not concerned about treading into La Crosse-based Kwik Trip’s home state.
“We regularly cross paths with Kwik Trip in Iowa (in our backyard),” said Pastillo. “And while we find them to be a solid operator, we think there is room for both of us.”