By Dave Fidlin


One of the last remaining hurdles in the planned redevelopment of a dormant grain mill site in Union Grove is was crossed recently.

At a Community Development Authority meeting June 19, Village Administrator Mark Janiuk confirmed the state Department of Natural Resources is concluding its review of the environmental conditions of the 4-acre property at Main and State streets and Mill Avenue.

Of the DNR’s conclusion of the testing, Janiuk said, “That doesn’t mean it’s a clean property. But it does mean they are satisfied.”

DNR regulations state Sussex-based Sawall Development, which is acquiring the land, will need to cap the previous fill with at least 2 feet of clay or blacktop before laying the groundwork for the new development.

Based on the momentum that has taken place, Janiuk reported to the CDA the village was slated to close on the property June 22. The municipality, in turn, will transfer ownership to Sawall, likely in mid-July.

Last month, the Village Board and Plan Commission unanimously supported redevelopment plans for the site.

Arthur Sawall, who heads Sawall Development, has announced plans of constructing a 73-unit apartment site known as The Granary. The project has an estimated $13 million price tag attached to it.

“Once we (purchase the property), he’ll be able to move forward with his plans,” Janiuk said of Sawall’s approved proposal.

The Granary will have larger-than-average apartment units, based on plans Sawall has submitted. One-bedroom units will be between 850 square feet and 890 square feet, while two-bedroom units will range from 1,140 square feet and 1,400 square feet.

Monthly rental fees are expected to range from $1,150 and $1,600, depending upon square footage and number of bedroom units.

Once the final behind-the-scenes steps are completed, and ownership is ultimately transferred to Sawall, Janiuk indicated a celebratory groundbreaking ceremony is planned to commemorate the new development.