Brown Deer — Goodwill has moved one step closer to opening in Brown Deer.
Weas Development is proposing to build a 19,000-square-foot Goodwill retail store and donation center, as well as a roughly 7,800-square-foot retail strip building, on the west side of Green Bay Road, just north of West Schroeder Drive. The Goodwill store and strip building would take up about half of the 6-acre site previously occupied by Hearthside Nursing Home, which was removed about eight years ago.
The Brown Deer Plan Commission on Monday, July 7, recommended the Village Board approve a development agreement for Goodwill, as well as a certified survey map breaking the site into three different lots. Assuming the Village Board follows the commission's recommendation at its Monday, July 21, meeting, Goodwill would like to begin construction later this summer and open in March 2015.
Goodwill is a tax-exempt organization, but is leasing from Weas Development, which is subject to property taxes. Brown Deer Plan Commissioners ensured the property would continue to generate property tax revenue in the future by including a provision in the development agreement that the property remain fully taxable in the future.
Plan Commissioners also included a provision limiting Goodwill's parking lot to 80 spaces. Goodwill had originally proposed 96 parking stalls, but village code allows a maximum of 80 spaces.
While village officials are glad to see Goodwill satisfy a demand in the community, Community Development Director Nate Piotrowski said he is concerned about the incremental approach developers are taking by not identifying how the remaining 3 acres of land will be used. He said he is also concerned about the viability of additional retail space at the site, given the number of nearby vacancies, including the former American TV and Appliance lot at 6700 W. Brown Deer Road.
"Village staff sees no issue with the Goodwill land use, but we are concerned that the incremental approach to the entire site could lead to other land uses that are not the highest and best," Piotrowski said in a report to the Plan Commission. "Specifically, staff is concerned that with 2 acres developed commercially, the site owner will attempt to attract strictly commercial developments to accompany Goodwill. Given the soft nature of retail in Brown Deer, as evidenced by major vacancies, and the general shifting desires of retailers, the sustainability of such an approach is questionable."
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