Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Do you hear that,
Tick, tick, tick.
The clock keeps moving.
No, not the countdown to our going over the fiscal cliff.
Will Meijer build a store in
When it comes to luring businesses and economic development,
Let’s go back to the beginning. April 2012.
The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that Meijer was planning to open one of its huge big box stores in
“Meijer would provide
May 17, 2012. An open house is held for informational purposes. To inform about the open house, Alderman Steve Olson sent out a notice that read, in part:
Meijer is a family-owned company based in
Meijer started in 1934 as a grocery store chain but now offers a complete one-stop shopping experience in over 40 other departments including grocery, health and beauty care, fashion, automotive, home decor, pharmacy, electronics, pets and more. Meijer’s focus is on delivering higher standards to customers at lower prices. The high standards carry through from the customer service in its stores to the quality of the merchandise itself. Meijer operates its stores 24/7 which is part of the founding family’s dedication to customer service. More information about Meijer can be found at http://www.meijer.com/
Meijer is currently under contract on the subject property. If the project proceeds, it will result in the demolition of the dilapidated structures, including the closed Illusions nightclub.
On Thursday evening, Meijer will display the updated Site Plan, the Exterior Elevations (architectural design) and other materials. To summarize a few key elements, our plans include:
• A sizeable stormwater detention pond (designed to enhance the water quality at discharge) that will be surrounded by landscaped site amenities,
• A signature landscaping feature at the northeast corner of Loomis & St. Martin’s.
• Proposed total landscaping of approximately 61% which exceeds the zoning code requirement of 40%.
• Installation of a traffic signal for the main vehicle entrance on
• Reconfiguration of the Puetz/St. Martin’s intersection per the DOT’s plans.
• Locating the truck loading docks on the north end of the building as far away as possible from residential properties.
• Bringing 200-250 new jobs to the community.
• Enhancing the City’s tax base though investment in an underutilized property resulting in additional tax revenues for the City and
More hearings. More delays.
“So they wouldn't allow a Wal-Mart but now they will give permission to Meijers? As far as I can tell they are the same. This is just another example of how f*****g stupid
“I sure hope this is rejected by the community. (GRIN) I really love the Cross Roads just the way it is, with it's incredible gas stations, it's luxurious abandoned restaurant and all that prairie style landscaping. (GRIN) After all with it being open 24 hours ‘those’ people" are going to end up there. You know what happens when ‘those people’ come to shop! You guessed it, they are going to break into all the houses in the area and steal all their stuff. (GRIN)”
“Let's not bury our heads in the sand. This is 2012 and the "country" days of Franklin and other communities in the area are long gone. We need this project to happen in an effort to keep development and commercial growth moving forward in our city. So what if you have several other grocery store options within a few miles. A corporation like Meijer does their homework and obviously they are not concerned about being successful in
Fliers were left in
It was the kind of action and mentality that prevents
In November it was very interesting to read the angry comments of Franklin alderman Steve Taylor about the problems associated with dotting all the I’s and crossing all T’s in getting Meijer’s to build here.
"Meijer puts brakes on store”
To this cynic, the immediate reaction was not one of surprise.
The article opened stating that
Good grief, a technicality throws a monkey wrench into the operation, a technicality that maybe someone with years of municipal experience should have picked up on? So we as a city drop the ball on an innocuous procedure.
If you’re keeping score, give this one to
I certainly would agree. While trying to kiss
Oh, if only the story ended here. But there’s more.
The city’s response to
Who asked for a delay in the entire approval process? Not the city of
Meijer hasn’t specified why. A
Once again, hyper-enviro concerns are standing in the way of much-needed progress and business/job creation in
OH NO! NOT THAT! PLEASE NOT THAT!
So Meijer has three keisters to smooch…the DNR, the feds, and the city. At the city level, Meijer has to, according to The Daily Reporter, meet
Dealing with the DNR isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s less difficult than in the past under Jim Doyle’s tenure. State Senator Frank Lasee wrote in a November e-newsletter:
"Because of the leadership of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been improving greatly. Reforming the 2300 employee DNR is a huge undertaking, and will take more time. I've been hearing from people that the DNR is now working for the environment and for you, not against you (there is still room for improvement).
"The new Office of Business Support and Sustainability (OBSS) has been created to help businesses navigate the DNR's bureaucracy by helping them comply with DNR rules and the permitting process.
"The OBSS is a special help line for getting permits to increase job growth in
With sharks in the water, the Milwaukee Business Journal under the very capable reporting hands of Sean Ryan weighed in. Again, the headline was gloomy:
Meijer store in
The paper reported in its lead paragraph that city officials are worried that Meijer’s may “abandon its plans” for a megastore in
Enter another city voice: Alderman Steve Olson whose district includes the Meijer site.
But the Business Journal noted Meijer is working through similar issues in Grafton where they want to build, and guess what? No problemo there.
And some in
So here we go.
This is a full-blown fiasco with finger-pointing and no one, I mean no one at the city of
The conventional wisdom seems that the threat to wetlands (Are you kidding me?) is a major hang-up.
Meijer’s lawyers outsmarted our lawyers and insisted on a second public hearing addressing primarily those wetland issues where witnesses are sworn in. Now, Meijer's wants no part of a second public hearing on wetlands issues. They won’t say why. That doesn't look good. Oh, no. Bye bye economic development, bye bye jobs? Thanks,
Alderman Taylor was right, but only to a certain degree. While the city is open to criticism, there are other roadblocks, along with Meijer walking away from the table. I think
What is Meijer doing rather than working to get this done expeditiously?
If that happens, you can forget all the finger pointing. Enough blame to go around, and everyone loses. And again, given the way we do things in
When Andy’s was set to move in at 51st and Rawson, I contacted Mayor Tom Taylor and then-Alderman Alan Hammelman. “Is this the best we can do?” at such a prime location, I asked.
Both gentlemen told me that was indeed the case.
With hindsight being 20-20, Andy’s is ok. The point is
How long did we fight and squabble and nitpick over Target?
Are we asking a hippo to jump through a hoop?
The pattern I’ve seen in
We may still get a Meijer’s. But trust me, other businesses are watching that may not want to play the long guessing game that hinders
In an Oct. 18 letter to city of
Meanwhile the Milwaukee Business Journal reported last Friday, “Meijer Inc.’s proposed store in the city of Franklin is still stalled, but the retailer is clearing challenges in three other area communities despite continued pockets of opposition from residents. Meijer is racking up approvals it needs for mega-stores in Grafton,
P.S. On his blog,
THE TOP 10
4) MEIJER REALLY WANTS TO COME HERE, BUT...
5) WELCOME TO THE MMSD
6) PUTTING FRANKLIN ON THE MAP
7) A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
8) THE RISE OF THE CYBER BULLIES
9) FRANKLIN DEPARTURES
10) A BROCHURE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?