I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
Day 12 – Saturday May 17th 2008 - Still No real response from the Mayor – An Opinion is not an answer
Greenfield markets itself with new effort
By STEFANIE SCOTT
Posted: May 13, 2008
Big-name hotels, restaurants and shops could come to Greenfield if a new marketing endeavor proves successful.
The campaign - dubbed Grow Greenfield - to attract developers and grow the city's commercial tax base will mostly focus on redevelopment in a city that's largely built out.
As part of the effort, Greenfield officials have established an Economic Development Committee made up of Mayor Michael Neitzke and department managers and staff.
The city has also joined a trade group, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and put together a brochure touting the city's high points.
The right place
Neitzke said the city wants to capitalize on its high traffic counts, its educated residential population and its proximity to downtown Milwaukee and Gen. Mitchell International Airport.
"The city has everything a commercial enterprise would want," he said.
Greenfield has recently already seen Bilt-Rite Furniture, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Wauwatosa Savings Bank and Aldi moved in, and the upscale grocery store Sendik's opens today, May 15.
But the mayor sees plenty of further opportunities to bring in quality restaurant and shopping establishments.
He said the city must pursue development rather than waiting for organizations to come calling.
In touch with developers
To that end, Economic Development Committee members recently attended an ICSC networking event in Milwaukee that allowed them to plug the city to real estate brokers, developers and retailers, many who have contemplated Greenfield for development projects.
The experience let developers know the city wants to work on development opportunities. Committee members have already started getting responses from interested parties, said Rick Sokol, Greenfield director of neighborhood services.
"It was surprisingly successful," Sokol said.
Although committee members won't divulge too much for fear of hurting a potential deal, they said there may be some exciting announcement to make as early as this summer.
Targeting certain areas
Some elements are already in the works.
At the May 6 Common Council meeting, Sokol said the Target store at South 27th Street and Layton Avenue will likely be demolished after this year's Christmas season so that the retailer can construct a more modern building to open in fall 2009.
That led city staff to suggest looking into the potential of establishing a tax-incremental financing (TIF) district along 27th Street between Layton and Grange avenues, which could encompass the Kmart and former Kohl's sites, the Willows golf range and the Target corner.
Tax-incremental financing, or TIF, is a mechanism that allows municipalities to borrow money to fund infrastructure improvements for an area that otherwise would be difficult to develop or redevelop. The increased property tax revenue from the improved land is then diverted from the tax roll to pay off the loan.
The city has had little experience with TIF districts so far, but they may serve as a tool to redevelop some of the areas where land parcels need to be assembled, which can prove costly and risky without some help, Sokol said.
Taking a more proactive stance on development was one of the goals set for the Neighborhood Services Department when it was created, Neitzke said.
"One thing I've learned (as mayor) is that everything takes a long time to get moving, but we've already developed positive momentum," he said.
Economic Development Committee members will try to continue that momentum by attending a regional ICSC conference this fall in Chicago. They also hope to talk to other groups, including the Milwaukee 7, to make sure it's mentioning Greenfield in its marketing efforts.
In the future, the committee may be opened up to resident members similar to the Plan Commission.
The mayor also hopes to get the Community Development Authority more involved in the process.
For instance, the CDA could consider how certain zoning regulations impact redevelopment. One area the CDA could examine is the required height allowance for buildings near the freeway to allow the potential for hotel development, Sokol said.
Beyond merely attracting redevelopment, the city wants to encourage higher-quality projects, Sokol added.
The mayor concurred, noting the need for the city to stay on top of redevelopment opportunities so the quality of the city's economic base doesn't erode, Neitzke said.
"Low quality or lack of redevelopment is a sign a city is denigrating," he said.
Stefanie Scott can be reached at (262) 446-6618.
AT A GLANCE
Greenfield Director of Neighborhood Service Rick Sokol reviewed development opportunities within the city with the Common Council on May 6. The following are a few areas to consider:
• West Loomis Road and Interstate 894 corridor: Developers have shown interest in building a hotel in this area. Greenfield is working with Milwaukee County to relocate the Park and Ride operation from the freeway to a different location so the city could use the site for commercial development that would bring revenue to the city. A developer already has acquired control of many of the surrounding properties. However, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has said it plans to use the site as a staging area for the Interstate 94 reconstruction project, which could delay progress for up to six years. Developers have also shown interest in redeveloping the northwest corner of West Layton Avenue and West Loomis Road and the northeast corner of South 43rd Street and West Loomis Road.
• Spring Mall: The retail center at 76th Street and Cold Spring Road is owned by a large real estate corporation. However, during the past few months, several companies have indicated they'd be interested in redeveloping it. In addition, an anchor tenant has show interest in rebuilding on the site and a big-box development could go up across the road on the west side of 76th Street.
• South 84th Street and I-894 corridor: There are two large parcels - one zoned for agricultural and one for institutional uses - that could be developed. Steinhafel's Furniture, which has indicated it would like to expand, has acquired some adjoining properties. A traffic light may be installed at South 80th Street and Layton Avenue to help with traffic flow from the new Sendik's Commons, which has filled its vacancies. A dental office has been proposed for the north side of Layton, just south of 80th Street.
What kind of development would you like to see come to Greenfield? More restaurants? Upscale retailers? Hotels? Share your views in our community forum.
After reading all of that does, Mayor McCue and Cudahy seem pro-business to you?
One final thing did the Mayor’s name popup all the way through the article or was it just “the Mayor”?
Maybe Mayor Michael Neitzke doesn’t have a complex problem with not seeing his name attached to the word Mayor! Can we trade for him, we could throw in a few city people (loyalists - Loyalty is good as long as you don’t get blinded by it) and a financial compensation. Maybe along with signing the recall (more on that Monday) we could each chip in some cash.
McCue grabbed 60% of the vote in the Cudahy mayoral election – That was over a year ago McCue, what have you done lately. Times have changed and so have the people's minds. Inactions and dissatisfactions tend to make that happen.
I don’t think you can count on that amount of supporting voters.
Here is a list of Cudahy citizens who may want Mayor McCue out:
People who wanted the Wal-Mart
People who wanted the Wave
People who wanted the Iceport to be done with
People who believed he would keep businesses from leaving
People who believed he would do something himself about the absentee landlords
People who believed he would communicate to the people
People who thought he would do something about the Payday Loan Stores
People who thought he would do something about the Used Car Lots
People who thought he would do something about the lowering taxes
People who bought in to his making it easy and attractive for new businesses to locate here
People who bought in to his work hard to attract new business
People who bought in to his “he is a reformer”
Anyone who sees McCue in a light they don’t like
Anyone who thought he would do SOMETHING and sees he does zilch!
Anyone who thought he would do ANYTHING and found out we got nothing!
The American President Lewis Rothschild: They don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
Updated info - I was told the city took care of Pay day loan stores in the last council. They passed a moratorium which stopped 2 new ones from coming in about late 2006. Last year we made it real. The only place they can come to the city is on Pennsylvania Ave.