Kohler Company and Acuity: No to Olive Garden

SHEBOYGAN — A decision by the Kohler Company and Acuity Insurance is partly the reason why there is not an Olive Garden in Sheboygan.

Chad Pelishek, the Director of Planning & Development for the City of Sheboygan told MySheboygan.com in an video interview that one of the reasons why Olive Garden does not have a Sheboygan location is a decision by Acuity Insurance not to sell land at South Taylor Drive and Washington Avenue near Interstate 43 ramps.

Olive Garden also sought to build a restaurant on property west of Interstate 43 on Highway 28 across the street from Chili’s Grill & Bar. However, the land is owned by the Kohler Company and rejected offers by Olive Garden to purchase land despite a 2006 Village of Kohler citizen input survey in which the most specific franchised requested by residents was an Olive Garden.

Pelishek said popular restaurants and retailers such as Costco look to build near an interstate and intersection with the most traffic. “It’s strictly based on traffic counts,” said Pelishek. “The only location that really met the requirements is Taylor Drive, I-43 and Taylor Drive.” The last traffic count conducted by the City of Sheboygan was in 2014.

Costco also considered building a store on South Taylor Drive in Sheboygan, south of the Holiday Inn Express on property owned by the Kohler Company. “Costco had worked with the Kohler Company on trying to buy that,” said Pelishek. “But they couldn’t come to an agreement on the price of the land so it never moved forward.”

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