The proposed Meijer store for 11123 Burleigh Road got a unanimous endorsement from the Plan Commission Monday night, and is a step closer to final city approval.
Attorney Brian Randall said construction would likely begin next year, and the store would open in 2014. It would be open around the clock, seven days a week, adding 200 jobs with 50 people working at a time.
Employees would have access to health insurance, Randall said.
An advance look
Randall and David Behrens, of the architecture firm GreenbergFarrow, led the panel through a slide showing how the store would be situation on the 17-acre site. The entry would be on the west, facing 112th Street, with a drive-through pharmacy on the northwestern corner.
Randall described Meijer as historically a grocery retailer and said it still emphasizes fresh food and produce. The store would have a full butcher shop, he said.
In addition to groceries and a pharmacy, the store would have a garden store, a home décor department, an electronics section, and other departments.
Parking lot considerations
Meijer plans 635 parking spaces, fewer than required under city zoning for the site, although Randall said he understood the zoning code was under review. The site will lose 42 of those parking spots under an amendment proposed by Gloria Stearns, who sought to increase the landscaping from 5.6 percent of the site to 7 percent.
"Wauwatosa is 95 percent developed," she said. "I think the development should be held to a higher standard."
City staff made 14 recommendations that were incorporated in the motion, including exploration of LED parking lot lighting to reduce electricity costs.
Alderman Donald Birschel, whose 7th District surrounds the property on two sides, told the commission that the public is "tired of it looking like East Berlin in 1948 in that area."
Alderman Jeff Roznowski, whose 6th District district includes the site, also attended as a member of the public.
"I've almost universally heard positive comments about this particular development," he said.
He envisioned it as a gateway to the city.
"I want this property to have a 'wow' factor," he said.
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