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Two re-used sites involve incoming pet businesses

May 8, 2012

Pets were on the mind, on agenda, of the Wauwatosa Planning Commission on Monday night, thanks to two independent proposals that would convert big-box and warehouse buildings to other uses.

Petco, a national pet supply chain, will move into one of the three additional tenant spaces within the Walmart Neighborhood Market development at 124th Street and Capitol Drive. Petco got approval from the Plan Commission to move into the 13,000-square-foot northernmost space, which is about a third of size of the Walmart grocery store that's expected to open in June.

In addition to selling pet supplies, Petco will offer animal grooming services and vaccination clinics staffed by licensed veterinarians. The store is expected to employ about 20 people.

There are two much smaller spaces that could be leased individually or combined. An address has been assigned for a Sprint store, city planner Tamara Szudy said.

Elsewhere on 124th Street, a former industrial warehouse building may get a pet-related business.

Menomonee Falls couple Lisa and Scott Cooper want to move their animal day care and boarding service, Doggy Office, to a 13,565-square-foot warehouse space at 4530 N. 124th St. They say they selected the site because it is in a newer building with better exposure on a busy road compared with the business's existing location on 127th Street in Brookfield. The business also has a Milwaukee location.

Because doggy daycare and boarding services aren't yet permitted in the industrial district, a conditional-use permit and an amendment to the city's zoning code would be required.

City planners are working on a new zoning code, which they hope the Common Council will adopt by the end of the year, that would allow for a pet business in the industrial area, Szudy said. The space provided by large manufacturing and warehouse type buildings makes them a suitable setting, she said.

The Plan Commission unanimously supported the request, but city rules require that a public hearing be held first before the Common Council. It was set for July 19.

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