Reason for delay unclear

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The new Waukesha Sendik's grocery store is scheduled to open in early summer, months after the Milwaukee-area grocery chain took over the former Sentry store anchoring the Meadowbrook Marketplace on the city's northwest side.

The reason for the delay in opening was not immediately clear, and Sendik's denied any such delay. But business owners said the empty 49,000-square-foot space has not really diminished foot traffic since Sentry moved out late last year.

Workers and construction equipment could be seen inside the vacant store on a recent visit to the plaza at 701 Meadowbrook Road, and renovations are ongoing.

A more precise opening date was not available. A message to Siegel-Gallagher, property manager for the Marketplace, seeking information about the opening, was not returned.

RELATED:Sendik's bags Waukesha location

"There is no official opening date," said Sendik's spokesman Nick Bandoch during a phone interview Tuesday, April 11. "I would expect the store would open early this summer."

He said he was unaware of a projected spring opening date, though such a date had been reported in a November Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story.

"We're working on the plan that was initially laid out (last August)" to have the store open in the first half of 2017, Bandoch said. "There are some great tenants at the marketplace, and we're excited to be a part of their neighborhood."

Those tenants remain excited for the new store.

A bigger crowd

Longtime Marketplace operator Joe Refermat, co-owner of arts and crafts store A Touch of Glaze, said he thought the new Sendik's store would probably draw a better crowd than Sentry.

"We were kind of sad to see Sentry go," he said, "but we're excited to have another anchor store in this place.

"We've seen it go from changing hands to growing."

The vacancy has "only slightly (negatively) affected" Refermat's business – if at all. That's because A Touch of Glaze, which has called the Marketplace home for 13 years, is primarily "a weekend store," so that's when it's the busiest.

Business has also been good for Refermat's neighbor, Elegant Nail and Spa.

An employee who was minding the store while the owners were on vacation said during a recent interview that the empty anchor space has not resulted in a drop at Elegant Nail either.

Sendik's plans

Bandoch has previously said that Sendik's chose the location partly in response to customer requests and also because it's in a "high traffic area."

The impending construction of the West Waukesha Bypass – scheduled to begin in May – was also a factor.

Upon completion of the renovations, the new Sendik's will have a full complement of grocery offerings, including Sendik’s hand-stacked produce, a Fresh2GO deli, full-service meat and bakery counters, a Sendik’s Home department and more.

RELATED:Sendik's not coming to Muskego

The new store is expected to employ between 125 and 150 total full- and part-time employees, Bandoch said, and is currently engaged in the hiring process.

While an exact opening date for the Waukesha store remains unclear, the company has been busy with other developments and financial decisions recently.

On April 10, Sendik's withdrew its plans to open a store at the Parkland Towne Center in Muskego. The company is also planning to open a store at The Corners development on April 23.

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