Menomonee Falls - The deal to bring a new brand of Walmart stores to Menomonee Falls is all but done. The Village Board and Plan Commission have approved re-zoning of commercial property at the old Piggly Wiggly location on Main Street and Pilgrim Road, paving the way for the new Neighborhood Market to come to the Falls.
Gatlin Developers, the same group that had another proposed Walmart store shot down by the village, will now be able to redevelop the strip mall, which has fallen on hard times.
Menomonee Falls had originally zoned this area as a mixed-use commercial district. The Plan Commission approved a land use change to the development plan along Main Street, followed by the Village Board adopting an ordinance amending the land use component of the Comprehensive Plan from the mixed-use, high-density residential and medium-density residential land-use classifications to the commercial land-use classification.
Essentially, the village has done everything possible to bring in this new Neighborhood Market branded store, which will have just a grocery store and pharmacy.
Laying the groundwork
Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said a final site plan will have to be reviewed and approved by the board, meaning it will still be a number of weeks before all of the plans can be finalized and demolition can begin.
Fitzgerald said no definitive timetable has been set for the opening of the store. Since Gatlin technically holds the contracts for the strip mall, there could be changes to the layout and makeup of the stores, with some businesses leaving.
A plan for the conventional Walmart store on the border between Brookfield and Menomonee Falls was rejected, after coming up against both community and Village Board resistance. Eventually Gatlin withdrew its plan to develop that site.
No controversy for new store
The proposed store in Menomonee Falls would only fill the 40,000-square-foot footprint of the old Piggly Wiggly as opposed to the 100,000-square-foot stores elsewhere and would essentially just be a grocery store.
That may be why this store has been met which much less resistance, since the perception is it would not hurt other local retail businesses anymore than the Piggly Wiggly did when it was open.
These newly branded stores are becoming popular topics at municipal meetings across southeastern Wisconsin, having come up in Milwaukee County communities like West Allis and Greenfield as well as the town of Waukesha.
Gatlin has not re-submitted plans for a Walmart on Lisbon Road west of Pilgrim Road on the border of Brookfield and Menomonee Falls. Village officials say this new store was being discussed long before the rejection of more recent Walmart proposal and as such, the two are not related.
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