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High Marks and High Hopes for New Retail Center

Plan Commission approves retail center development at Moorland and Janesville Roads, saying the design is exactly what they've had in mind for the high-visibility commerce area in Muskego

There weren't too many things to add to the discussion as plans for a new retail building at a key location in Muskego were introduced to the Plan Commission Tuesday night.

City Planner Jeff Muenkel had noted few questions were left unanswered as a "wealth of information and detail on the design and particularly of the landscaping" were provided for the 8,526-square-foot development. 

"I think they did a tremendous job on the architecture and adopting the style we're looking for in the Moorland Commerce design plans," added Commissioner Mark Noah.

The city's design guides have required prairie-style architecture for retail development in the area, reflected in businesses like and the opening later this year.

The area has been a key focus in Muskego economic development since Moorland Road was completed, and a confirmed its role in bringing in new businesses to the city, so the new proposal was more cause for optimism.

Briohn Builders, which hopes to build the retail center on the northeast corner of Moorland and Janesville Roads, indicated there will be spaces for outdoor seating, which could attract restaurants to the building. However, no further information on tenants was available.

The development will also depend on closing a deal with Waukesha County to add 0.3 acres on the west side of the parcel, which comes before the County Board at the end of the month. Developers feel confident in the deal as it had been county owned only for the purpose of widening Janesville Road, and their need of the land was temporary.

The commission approved the plans, along with a request to make sure a stand of trees is also removed from key site lines for traffic safety. The approval of the building, site and operation plan will be forwarded on to the Common Council as early as next Tuesday.

Deanna Kuhn Knasinski September 05, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Just get a Mc Donald's & Taco Bell there & us tax payers will all be happy.
Sheepshead September 05, 2012 at 02:54 PM
No, it will be a new tattoo parlor and check cashing place. Meanwhile the rest of the "business centers" remain blighted and turnover-prone. Muskego has nothing to attract people. Thanks again MEG and Bay Breeze
DK September 05, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I vote for a Paneras. No more medical clinics, please.
Dan Gomoll September 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Yeah we need this. We don't have nearly enough vacant store fronts and overgrown shopping malls in Muskego. :/
G. Whitehaus September 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I never heard of a store going out of business becase they were making to much money. If the merchants that move in there are selling something people want or need then those stores wont be vacant. Muskego's a tough market. Good luck whoever opens shop there.
Matt Johnson September 05, 2012 at 06:01 PM
It all depends on what business wants to go there. They do their research and make their decision based on that. Now the city cannot just say no to a business without due process because it opens us taxpayers to possible lawsuits. The city's government can do more to make Muskego more attractive to new business and rebuilding Janesville Road is great first step. Another step would be to clear up the zoning/planning and approval process. It's way too muddled and forces non-creative people into becoming exterior decorators (i.e Kohl's and the "prairie view" nonsense).
Denise Konkol (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 06:57 PM
@Matt - that's where the architects come in. I'm excited and I agree, no business leaves because it's making money. Muskego is not alone in having empty store fronts, but it is an endorsement of the potential people see from outside the community of the Moorland Corridor. Sad that even good news gets such a negative response.
Lynn Centinario September 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I agree. Let's get some place my family enjoys eating in other areas. Paneras also gets my vote or Einstein bagels.
Gregory Kluck September 05, 2012 at 11:22 PM
First, Muskegoans need to support local business. What happened to Mama Mia's or the "bunker" on Racine and Tans. That building has been a theater, a bar/restaurant and a teen club.
Laura Mishefske September 06, 2012 at 12:05 AM
once its approved by the common council, how soon before they break ground?
Andrew McKee September 06, 2012 at 09:44 PM
There are a number of businesses interested in joining Muskego, but as the saying goes: "Location, Location, Location". I feel I am fortunate to have a great one. But a lot of the vacant areas aren't what many would refer to as a great location (for one reason or another). As Greg stated I will hope that the people of Muskego will continue to support locally owned businesses. And we at Domino's Pizza do certainly appreciate the support we have been given.
Concerned Muskego patron September 07, 2012 at 03:49 PM
We need businesses that have great food, great products, and the people are aware of these places. Places like Mama Mia's (horrible food), the teen center(bad idea) do not help our area. Maybe the teen center should be a exercise/sport place with opportunity to have good signage(why did Muskego allow the building to be placed with the back facing the street-bad planning!!!). Good Luck!!
Concerned Muskego Patron September 07, 2012 at 03:50 PM
We need businesses that have great food, great products, and the people are aware of these places. Places like Mama Mia's (horrible food), the teen center(bad idea) do not help our area. Maybe the teen center should be a exercise/sport place with opportunity to have good signage(why did Muskego allow the building to be placed with the back facing the street-bad planning!!!). Good Luck!!
Deanna Kuhn Knasinski September 08, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I agree Teen Center bad idea! Another stupid retail center= bad idea. Let's utilize the ones we have first. If the city was smart they would take a poll on what restaurants we all want, if not it's just another soon to be vacant building.
G. Whitehaus September 08, 2012 at 08:13 PM
It is not the city's responibility to decide what restaurant goes in there. If they serve flaming eel on a plywood bun, as long as they pay the rent and make a profit that's all that matters. (If they did open a Starbucks there, that would give those 3 supervisors from MNSD another place to hang out in the mornings too) :o
Debra September 09, 2012 at 10:53 PM
With the effort of Jamming on Janesville to bring our communtiy together I vote for an area big enough to house a bunch of speciality shops and a restaurant that serves a good breakfast. The communities like Cedarburg and downtown Greendale and Delafield and Lake Geneva downtown have got it going on, in bringing people into their cities to visit, shop, eat, and spend $.
Gregory Kluck September 19, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Cedarburg, Delefield, Downtown Greendale and Lake Geneva are excellent models. However, I do think that those types of towns with local owners owning the property is what makes those areas grow. Price points of the lease is another consideration. I think the local owners know pretty much what the market will bear. These Lease companies have in their heads that the price will be X amount and I think it's usually too high. Look at the empty store fronts at the Piggly Wiggly areas and the little strip mall next to Walgreens by Racine and Janesville...only an auto parts store occupies the corner store and the rest of the stores are empty and have bee since it's opening. I see more business opening in the industrial area on Saturn than in one of those malls.

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