Meijer gets final approval from Waukesha Common Council

Todd Ponath
Construction will start soon on the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and E. Sunset Drive for a Meijer supercenter.
Published on: 8/25/2014

While it was a long road to get a final approval, a Meijer supercenter is officially coming into the city of Waukesha.

The city's Common Council, in an 11-3 vote Aug. 19, approved the final site plan and architectural planned-unit development for the 192,000-square-foot store and 2,500-square-foot gas station.

Aldermen Steve Johnson, Eric Payne and Kathleen Cummings were the only aldermen to vote against the project.

The Plan Commission signed off on the food, clothing and home merchandising store, which would be located at the corner of Tenny Avenue and East Sunset Drive, at its meeting the previous week.

The store will be open 24 hours a day.

The process for Meijer to build at that site started more than a year ago, and it was met with backlash from neighbors who said they did not want a big-box store impeding into a residential area. As a result, many neighbors filed a protest petition with the city.

The neighbors, as well as Johnson, also previously requested that the gas station be removed from the plans.

However, city officials approved the project each step of the way last summer.

First, the Common Council approved of a land-use change for the property from residential to commercial and then rezoned the site to a Community Business Planned Unit Development, approvals needed for the project to keep moving forward.

A year later, after details for a related road project on Sunset Drive were finalized and Meijer officials worked with city staff further, the project was finally brought back before the council last week.

City Planner Jennifer Andrews said preliminary site work could begin this fall, but all of the road and building construction will take place in 2015.

Brian Randall, Meijer's attorney, said it takes about a year to build a Meijer store. Andrews said she expects the store to open mid-2016.

Waukesha's Meijer supercenter will be among the latest for the chain, based Grand Rapids, Michigan, in Wisconsin. Randall said construction has started for Meijer stores in Wauwatosa, Sussex, Oak Creek, Grafton and Kenosha. Stores are also being planned in Greenfield and Janesville.

Meijer has more than 200 supercenters in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.