Meijer

Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:21 am

From the archives >Meijer Department Store

From the FREEMAN

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Big-box store will destroy quality of life in neighborhood

To the editor: Just how many bigbox stores does it take to destroy a neighborhood in Waukesha? We may find out.

Meijer Inc., a big-box discount chain, is lobbying to locate a new store on the southeast corner of Sunset Drive and Tenny Avenue. Meijer carries furniture, groceries and boasts a gas station. Never mind that Pick ’n Save, and other grocers and gas stations within blocks have served the neighborhood for years. Never mind that Woodman’s opened within a short distance and another Walmart will come to the area to pull business from existing merchants. Never mind that homeowners in the area will lose peace and privacy, and home values will plummet along with the residential quality of the neighborhood. Never mind the merchants who lose their ability to stay in business. Add to that increased traffic, noise and upheaval that destroy quality of life.

It appears that Mayor Scrima favors this development. It might temporarily increase the tax base, but has consideration been given to the tax losses and blight the city will eventually incur because of this potential development? Get involved and make your views known in writing to your alderman, the mayor and Common Council.

Barb Burton

Waukesha
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Re: Meijer

Postby Ron Kading » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:54 am

I recently questioned the Mayor about this very subject. I reminded him that when he ran against Nelson he strongly denounced Nelsons developing of the Shoppes on Sunset. He told all of us that this type of development, while creating new taxes just caused blight in another area. He sited the number of businesses that were gone due to the Shoppes up and down Sunset. Just check out the number of additional stores that have since the election gone out of business. I told him that this would be the end of Sentry in Fox Run and was told that a these big box stores had very good development people and they crunched the numbers and they determine where they want to build. I questioned if Waukesha had the number of residents that could support one more giant. In my mind I just wondered if the push was on because of who the owners of the land are and if this is just political payback, just wondering.
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Re: Meijer

Postby Holy Smokes » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:18 am

I hope these sound bytes will be made public, and shown against the real descisions & approvals that Scrima made during his reign.
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:39 am

From The FREEMAN:



Neighborhood group opposes Meijer


Store representative: Will work with city to address concerns

By Sarah Pryor
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – Mayor Jeff Scrima has lauded the future development of a Meijer department store at Tenny Avenue and Sunset Drive, but not everyone is thrilled with the prospect of the new store in their neighborhood.

“We’re calling ourselves WHAM – Waukesha Homeowners Against Meijer,” said Marlene Blair, who lives on Larchmont Drive near the proposed development. “We’re quite upset about it, and we thought that we have to do something.”

Blair and the other 30 to 40 active members of the group have gathered more than 300 signatures from neighbors who oppose the 192,940-square-foot retail store and 2,509-square-foot gas station planned for the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and East Sunset Drive. She said she hopes to present the signatures to Alderman Steve Johnson.

“We feel it would take away from the neighborhood and bring down our property values,” Blair said. “The noise, the traffic, the lights ... it’s something we don’t want in the neighborhood.”

However, Meijer Director of Public Relations Frank Guglielmi said his company has a strong track record of being a good neighbor in other communities.

“Our goal is to bring our offering to the local community, and we’re really looking forward to coming into Wisconsin,” Guglielmi said. “We welcome citizens to voice their concerns, and we’ll work with the municipality to address them.”

Scrima said he and the other city staff members understand the mixed feelings about this (and every) development, but he’s heard from far more people who are excited about the products and employment opportunities Meijer will bring to the area.

“The request for development is coming from the property owner, which is a family that has owned that parcel for more than 40 years, and from Meijer Department Stores,” Scrima said, adding that the development will add an estimated 200 new jobs to the area. “Those who have sat through our Plan Commission meetings know that our professional staff and Plan Commission are very thorough in their reviews and, in the end, regardless of the outcome, we want the Waukesha community at large to feel good.”

Blair said a representative from Meijer has already come around the neighborhood to talk about the positives of having Wisconsin’s first Meijer just around the corner, and that Meijer is hosting a Thursday night meeting at Waukesha South High School to address the concerns of the neighbors.

Additionally, a public hearing is planned for Aug. 8 in the Council Chambers at City Hall for the public to weigh in on the proposed land use plan and rezoning that would allow the development to move forward.

Blair said she doesn’t anticipate the neighbors changing their tune.

“There’s nothing that would change our minds,” she said.

Email: spryor@conleynet.com
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Re: Meijer

Postby Dave Mickler » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:32 pm

This is a city issue as much as it is a Sunset Drive issue. It is also the God given right of the property owners to profit from the sale of the property to who ever wants to make the investment. It was only a matter of time that this was parcel was going to be developed. A few residential property owners are not going to stand in the way of this quality development. Look at it from this perspective during the summer you can mow your lawns 24 hours a day with the added light from the Meijer parking lot lights!
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:26 am

From The FREEMAN:

Commission green lights Meijer despite neighbors’ opposition

Planner: Revised plans moving in right direction

By Sarah Pryor
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – The Plan Commission gave unanimous approval to revised plans for a proposed Meijer department store, despite a significant amount of opposition from neighbors at a Wednesday evening meeting.

Since the project was granted preliminary approval in May, several neighbors have voiced concerns about noise, light, traffic and other issues with the almost 200,000square-foot store planned for the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and East Sunset Drive.

City Planner Jennifer Andrews said the developer was “moving in the right direction” with some revisions to the plans, such as decreasing to just one entrance off Sunset Drive for better traffic flow and creating more of a landscape buffer for residential neighbors. Andrews also said the city forester thinks it’s possible to add additional vegetation on the city right-of-way to shield neighbors as well.

The nearest neighbor is 250 feet from the development’s lot line, Andrews said.

Most neighbors in the audience Wednesday night didn’t seem placated, openly scoffing when Andrews described a smoking area for Meijer employees and rolling their eyes when Andrews talked about plans by the Smart family, which owns the land, to extend Tenny Avenue all the way to the bypass in the future.

“Do you really think having a huge box store in the middle of a residential area is progress?” said Larchmont Drive resident Ken Heine, who sat with more than a dozen neighbors carrying bright yellow anti-Meijer signs. “Do you think there won’t be increased noise and light pollution in surrounding areas? Do you really think nearby residential homes won’t be affected property value wise?”

Plan Commissioner Vance Skinner asked Meijer attorney Brian Randall if it’s possible for Waukesha to support a Meijer in addition to the Pick ’n Save, Woodman’s Food Markets, Walmart Neighborhood Market and Aldi all within a 2-mile radius of the site.

“It sounds like this is the place to be then,” Randall said, declining to reveal any information of Meijer’s market studies. “There still will be customers for Pick ’n Save across the street. Competition, at the end of the day, is good for everyone.”

Skinner said he understands that it’s Meijer’s money at risk, but also said the community risks looking at empty storefronts when businesses fail. Skinner ultimately voted in favor of the revised plans, saying they show the developer’s willingness to compromise.

Alderman Steve Johnson, who is the alderman for the district, said he’s opposed to the project and asked if it’s possible to compromise by not having the store open 24 hours, or by not building the gas station.

Randall said Meijer stores are always open 24 hours a day as part of the company’s commitment to customers such as shift workers, students who need materials late at night, and others. He also said the development will bring 200 new jobs to the area.

The Common Council will host a public hearing regarding the development on Aug. 8.

Email: spryor@conleynet.com
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:06 am

From the FREEMAN:

Council to host Meijer public hearing

By Sarah Pryor
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – The Common Council will host two public hearings related to the proposed Meijer development planned for Sunset Drive and Tenny Avenue at its Thursday meeting.

Many neighbors have spoken out against the proposed development, decrying potential traffic, light pollution and oversaturation of the market.

The two public hearings will deal with amending the city’s land use plan and rezoning the property from temporary to community business zoning, both of which must take place for the development to move forward.


The Common Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 201 Delafield St.

Email: spryor@conleynet.com
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:56 pm

From The Business Journal:

More Meijer lawsuits possible

Sean Ryan
Reporter- The Business Journal

Thus far, two lawsuits challenging Meijer stores in the Milwaukee area have failed to stop the developments, but the attorney who filed the complaints still is active in other communities.

Meijer Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., is more than one year into its push to enter the Wisconsin market and has stores proposed in Waukesha, Sussex, Wauwatosa, Grafton and Kenosha. Milwaukee attorney Joe Cincotta has filed lawsuits challenging Meijer in Sussex and Grafton on behalf of residents of those communities.
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:49 pm

From Waukesha NOW

Public hearing on Meijer development Thursday

Council to take action on rezoning property

By Christopher Kuhagen

The neighbors and their yellow signs are expected to return tonight to City Hall.

Fifteen days after residents spoke against the proposed Meijer supercenter at a Plan Commission meeting — while holding up yellow pieces of paper that had slash marks through the word, Meijer — they'll have another chance to voice their opposition during a public hearing on the development.

The hearing is followed by Common Council considering action on a land use plan amendment that about 31 acres of land at the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and East Sunset Drive from medium and medium-high residential to commercial and isolated natural resource area.

The 15-member Common Council will also consider the Plan Commission's recommendation to rezone the development to a Community Business Planned Unit Development with an additional upland conservancy overlay.

The Plan Commission has met twice on this development, May 8 and July 24. In July, a recommendation of just one access point after a traffic study as well as adding more trees and vegetation to act as a shield for the neighbors were project updates.

But the neighbors around this property haven't been pleased with the plan as a whole.

Most have said they don't want a 192,000-square-foot food, clothing and home merchandising store and 2,500-square-foot gas station that would accompany it near their homes in a residential area.

While the Plan Commission has voted to move the project forward, Alderman Steve Johnson, who represents constituents where Meijer is being proposed, is expected to vote against the rezoning and land use plan amendment. At the July 24 Plan Commission meeting, he said he doesn't favor Meijer's 24-hour component and is against the gas station.

Brian Randall, Meijer's attorney, said while there are a few of the 157,000-square-foot Meijer stores that don't have gas stations, there is the room to do it at the Waukesha site and they are "an instrumental part of Meijer's offering." He said the same thing about the 24-hour element since this was a concern of some residents.

The site also has room to house two future outlot developments, with Meijer having control over who it would sell or lease to. No proposals have been issued and potential tenants would need approval, Randall said.

With the concern from Waukesha residents about Meijer building in and around a residential area, Randall said there are Meijer stores planned in Wisconsin (City of Kenosha, Village of Grafton and Village of Sussex, among others) in similar areas and are also being rezoned. He added many of the more than 200 Meijer stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky also developed in residential areas.

"We have many in residential and in our mind we have been a good neighbor and co-existed and enhanced those communities with proper planning," said Randall, who added the Waukesha location has residential on three of its sides and on the west is a commercial district.

The Meijer supercenter would bring up to 250 jobs, Randall said. If it gets the final approval from the Common Council, construction is scheduled to begin in early 2014 and could open in by summer of 2015.
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:18 pm

The Common Council motion to deny amending the land use plan for this development - Approved

4 YES
7 NO

NOTE: According to City Atty Meitz, 8 votes ( a majority of the CC) are necessary to amend the land use plan.

Stay tuned as the CC is on break seeking clarification.

11:45PM - For legislative clarification, Meitz recommended that the motion be stated in the affirmative.

Motion to approve amending the land use plan - Failed

6 YES ( 8 votes needed)
5 NO

NOTE: ONLY a CC member on the prevailing side can make a motion for reconsideration at the next CC meeting.

As a maneuver to join the prevailing side so that a motion for reconsideration can be made, one Alderman changed his vote.
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:25 am

From The FREEMAN:

Meijer development stalled – for now

More than 100 show up to oppose store

By Sarah Pryor
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – The Common Council voted 6-5 Thursday night in favor of amending the city’s land use plan to make way for a proposed Meijer development, but since a supermajority of eight votes is required, the project is stalled – for now.

Alderman Andy Reiland was already asking how to bring the items up for reconsideration at a future meeting, where presumably more members of the 15-person Common Council will be present.

Since the Meijer project was granted preliminary approval in May, neighbors have voiced a litany of concerns with the nearly 200,000square-foot 24-hour store and gas station planned for the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and East Sunset Drive.

Residents spoke for more than three hours to a packed room at Thursday night’s public hearing, decrying everything from traffic issues to noise pollution to over-saturation of the market.

“Within 2.5 miles, there are seven other businesses of the (type),” said John Cliff. “Meijer is coming here for one reason and one reason only: They think they can do business better than the other people, which means someone will go out of business.”

Cliff and others cited hulking, vacant buildings around the city such as the Fox Run shopping center across town and even the abandoned strip mall on Delafield Street across from City Hall.

“Meijer is saying ‘trust us – build it and they will come,’ but Kmart (and others) said ‘trust us, people will come’ and they’re sitting vacant,” said resident Pat Farrell.

However, city staff is in favor of the project, with City Planner Jennifer Andrews saying at the last Plan Commission meeting that the developer was “moving in the right direction” with some revisions to the plans, such as decreasing to just one entrance off Sunset Drive for better traffic flow and creating more of a landscape buffer for residential neighbors.

Several neighbors spoke to support the development, including representatives from nearby Tomchek Ace Hardware and La Casa de Esperanza. Others pointed out that it would bring hundreds of jobs to the area.

“We need those jobs,” said local sheet metal union representative Michael Mooney. “It’s good for the tax base, it’s good for the area.”

Mayor Jeff Scrima called the crowd out of order several times throughout the meeting and warned people against clapping or otherwise showing agreement or emotion based on what speakers said.

According to a press release from Meijer, the department store has been around since 1934 and today operates more than 200 stores in five Midwest states. The release calls Meijer a “pioneer of the one-stop shopping concept,” and states that it’s evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings.

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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:23 pm

From WaukeshaNOW:

Meijer in Waukesha doesn't receive enough votes Thursday to keep project moving forward

Not enough votes were cast in favor of changing a land use plan amendment to keep the Meijer development moving forward in the City of Waukesha at Thursday's Common Council meeting.

While it puts a halt into Meijer's plan for Waukesha, it doesn't mean the project is dead quite yet.

Six aldermen voted to change the 31-acre property at the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and E. Sunset Drive from medium and medium-high residential to commercial and isolated natural resource area, while five voted against the change.

Nevertheless, it failed because eight votes are needed in amending a land use plan.

However, one of the five aldermen who voted in the minority (but who ultimately won Thursday night), could request to have it return to the agenda for another vote, City Planner Jennifer Andrews said.

This could happen as there already was discussion after the vote of bringing it back. Andrews said if this happens there would just be a vote and not another public hearing on the land use plan amendment.

Four of the 15 Common Council members were absent from the meeting and Alderman Andy Reiland switched his vote from voting in favor of Meijer to against it after the Council voted twice after there was major confusion over voting rules on the first vote.

Andrews said Reiland's move could have been a way to make sure the land use plan amendment returns to the next Common Council meeting when more members are present to get the eight votes.
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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:49 am

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Re: Meijer

Postby Tom Hekkers » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:39 am

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Re: Meijer

Postby Kristin » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:11 am

Question: there already is a giant space zoned commercial that is vacant and not far from the site Meijer wants --the old Wal-Mart and Jewel spaces. Did they even consider building there? Does anyone know what is happening with that space?
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