Agreeing that the new proposal from Kohl's architects was more in line with the design plan for the Moorland and Janesville Road commerce area, the Plan Commission gave its approval to move ahead with what officials at the retailer called a 'refresh' of their outside face.
Jeff Muenkel, Director of Development with the city explained that new features helped continue the prairie style theme, including 'fins' in the front entrance columns, which helped to "create a layering effect using angles and other shapes seen in many Frank Lloyd Wright designs."
In addition, the city will ask that four existing tower elements be re-clad with standing seam metal roofing to match other prairie buildings in the area, including the new Lakeshore Aurora medical clinic. The initial proposal from Kohl's indicated only the front two towers would be renovated.
Kohl's new look would also give a "cohesive feel between this building and the medical clinic" in that "both buildings use light brick on the lower portions of the buildings with darker brick for the main structures. The roof features are similar in materials, design, and pitch, along with similar tower elements, and the proposed 'eyebrows' over the entries are similar to the horizontal canopy over the drive-thru area," Muenkel explained in a memo to the commission.
With no further questions from the commission and a unanimous approval to move ahead, it's likely the Common Council will approve this at its only meeting in December on the 11th. Kohl's will begin renovations in early 2013, with no specific date set at this time.