Jay, who has lived in the Waukesha area for over 20 years, is an active volunteer who has served on numerous local boards and committees. He's married to Colleen with three kids having gone through the Waukesha schools. He is the VP of a local distribution company.
Please tell me someone with tons of money is just playing mind games with me. Please!?
If you have not witnessed the birth of the new Menard's Store across from Target and Home Depot on Kossow and Hwy J, I suggest you hurry lest your neighbors "scoop" you on this one.
It is big... It is "G-normous"... In fact - it towers over the surrounding landscape! Rumors abound that this could be a 2-story spectacle of "Save big money at Menards..." I wouldn't be surprised. It dominates (good for the retailer hoping to attract attention - but is it really good for the local Community?).
First - The positives: Local jobs, increased tax base, competition (until Home Depot leaves), proximity for shoppers, better store than it's replacing, and... I really don't now after that. Sightseers? Gawkers? Tilt-up wall construction aficionados? Waukesha "stole" a development from one of the Brookfields? Albanese's will get more Bocce Ball contenders...
Second - The questions: Has anyone tried to navigate this area as it currently stands? Kossow and Hwy 18 is one of the most problematic intersections in Wisconsin. Now add another 25,000 cars a week! Was there any way to retain the store with it's positives while mediating the insatiable lust for the biggest retail store possible on this sight? Given the looming/towering shadow of this behemoth, did the Menard's developers show up at planning meetings with "Lawyers and everything?"
Two sides are available for discussion. The first is to take the position that the area is already a retail mess and one more store won't hurt or make a difference. The other side states "The area is already a retail mess and this will make a bad situation that much worse."
Myself? I am basically stunned by the sheer magnitude of this building for the size of the lot. It doesn't just sprawl - it is an incredibly tall structure for a retail building. (Don't be surprised to see red aviation warning lights on it's roof - It is on final for the East/West Waukesha runway). It almost defies belief and acceptance that this could actually occur in today's political climate of review and demands on developers.
The Opus Corp is developing Shoppes at Fox River. They are a first-rate developer. Let's hope the people entrusted with the Waukesha review process work cooperatively to provide a quality retail development without creating a concrete albatross for the next 30 years of our viewing pleasure. The bar for big-box development has been set incredibly low, and it needs to be raised.
"Landmark" Status for the Menard's monstrosity???