Menomonee Falls - The corner of Main Street and Pilgrim Road is undergoing an extreme makeover.
At least that's the hope for the Pilgrim Village Shopping Center. Gatlin Development scooped up a slew of properties on the downtown corner that has fallen on hard times since Piggly Wiggly closed in 2004, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said.
Demolition of the old buildings began in October. Plans are now in motion for the reconstruction of the entire shopping center, which will include a 40,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market, Fitzgerald said. These small grocery stores are billed as offering food at affordable prices.
The developer also will construct four buildings along Main Street that will house retail or commercial businesses.
"It will be a double-tiered mall, all face-lifted," he said.
The shopping center will incorporate the existing Otto's Beverage Center, Schlotzsky's Deli and Friends of Nature pet supply store. Fitzgerald said the developer is still working with brokers to determine which businesses will lease the additional four buildings; however, he anticipates most of the shopping center will be up and running by the end of summer.
After the Pilgrim Village Shopping Center lost Piggly Wiggly, Fitzgerald said it fell on difficult times. In an effort to revamp the downtown corner, the village of Menomonee Falls turned the area into a redevelopment district.
"We worked during the bad economy to try to find a redevelopment that was a mixed-use redevelopment and we couldn't find a financeable project," he said.
Redevelopment is complicated because of the issues that pop up when dealing with old buildings. During demolition, there was contamination and asbestos found on site.
When Gatlin Development, a national developer that works extensively with Walmart Neighborhood Markets, came forward with its proposal, the village worked to put together a basic plan. The village also purchased some right of way at the corner of Pilgrim Road and Main Street for a future widening of the roads.
"That corridor had completely lost its economic capability," Fitzgerald said. "It was very inactive relative to the local economy and we're really hoping that this boosts that area and then some of the uses in between sort of revive as well and it should reignite that whole corridor."
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