Though the project is on the “back burner” while he supervises closing one store and opening another this year, Tom Dorn hopes to soon redevelop the area around his True Value Hardware store along Main Street
Dorn told the Observer last week he’s in the process of working with partners in his Oregon business to see who wants to be part of the new project, on his current 2.9-acre retail site at 131 W. Richards Road, which the Village of Oregon approved in September 2016.
“We do have four different shareholders in different stages of their life, and some might like to get out,” he said. “So, some of it is ownership issues.”
Another part of it simply time. Dorn, who owns True Value Hardware stores in Madison and Sun Prairie, is keeping quite busy these days closing a store in downtown Madison and opening a new one later this spring in Verona.
“We’re trying to get settled with this (Verona) opportunity,” he said. “We’ve just got so many other things going on.”
The village has approved the general development plan for Dorn Plaza, which is the most important of the three stages of a planned district development – which allows for different types of building uses in a single site and other zoning variations. Developers never returned for the final step of the process, however.
The plan calls for a three-story building with commercial space on the ground floor and “condos or apartments” above.
Dorn said he’d like to start the project, which would be developed by Verona-based KSW Construction, “sometime within the next year.” He said he’s gotten “a lot of interest” from businesses looking for a new location, and has retained a commercial broker to field those calls.
“We feel the real estate is large enough out there to accommodate another building, and the community would embrace that kind of housing along with commercial real estate on the ground floor,” Dorn said. “I’d like to see some movement on that in the next year, or at least be able to announce something.”