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City officials wary of plans for Target store on Bluemound
To big box or not to big box?
That is a question for the residents to answer.
Plan Commissioners on Monday didn't go easy on Ryan Cos. representative Tony Barranco, who was pitching plans for a 136,000-square-foot Target and other retail development at the former Quebecor World printing plant site at
They called the company's proposal a "significant deviation" from the city's various master plans for site. At least one of those plans included feedback from residents who made it clear they didn't want to see any development of more than 70,000 square feet in the area near
As for the size of the store, city planners and commissioners asked why the Target couldn't be two stories tall. Barranco said Target representatives only use that type of building in dense urban areas.
The proposed Brookfield Target would sell groceries and general merchandise, and would have a pharmacy. The store would be located on the southern portion of the site.
The three proposed retail facilities along
Commissioner Kevin Wahlgren asked for a more creative site plan. He said the one presented looked like something from the 1960s - a big box surrounded by a sea of asphalt.
Commissioner and Alderman Gary Mahkorn said it is hard to get beyond the big-box concept. "This is a huge deviation" from the city's plans, he said.
A financial benefit
The proposal didn't quite strike out, however.
Because of those problems, city staff asked commissioners whether they would be willing to bend a bit from the city's plan and allow a big-box store on the property - particularly in light of a recent history of failed redevelopment and reuse efforts of a brownfield site by several parties.
Ryan Cos. estimates the cleanup to cost $1.1 million. The city has obtained a $100,000 state grant to contribute to the cleanup efforts.
"Maybe we can swallow a big box store to get rid of a brownfield site," Commissioner Paul Wartman said.
Another consideration is the current economic climate. Some commissioners questioned whether the city's plan for a mixed use development in the area is a concept that may never be realized.
"Our plan may not work, it may never work," said Commissioner and Alderman Mark Nelson. "It was the ideal."
He could support the Target plan, if the public supports it.
"This is going to be a significant development," he said, one that doesn't require any financial assistance from the city.
And while the city might not want a big box, he said, it doesn't want what's there now - an eyesore.
They all agreed they need to hear from the neighbors. The resident feedback for the planning documents is about four years old and maybe things have changes since then, officials said.
Source and Full Store: Brookfield Now