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Kohl's to Pitch a New Design, Again

Plan Commission will hear a new plan from Kohl's to refresh the exterior of the store.

After asking the retailer to try again with a proposed design earlier this year, the Plan Commission will see a revised proposal from Kohl's Department Store on Tuesday evening.

The commission will meet at 6 p.m. in the lower level Muskego Room at City Hall.

A "minor exterior façade refresh" at the existing operating Kohl's store located at the corner of Moorland Road and Janesville Road is being proposed similar to the previous go-round. No modifications to the existing building 'footprint,' structure, signage, sidewalks or landscaping are proposed as part of the plan.

Kohl's first proposed a change earlier this year, but the plan commission felt the changes took the design further away from the prairie style that is required in the Moorland corridor design plan. The retailer eventually withdrew from further discussions for the time being.

A letter from Frank Evans with Casco, which is handling the project, indicated that "exterior scope of work is limited to the front elevation at the existing entrance/exit ways as well as the two front tower elements." It also stated that design elements this time will match more closely to what the city has been looking for, and should complement the adjacent Aurora medical building.

However, a recommendation from the commission will require that all of the roof 'towers' adopt the metal seam roofing, not just the front two.

Brandon Karpowitz December 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM
So ridiculous that the city balked at the minor changes last year. When people complain about "big Government" and over regulation, this is exactly what they are talking about.
Denise Konkol (Editor) December 03, 2012 at 03:26 PM
The downtown area did not have a design plan, which led to people complaining that nothing looks 'together', so going forward any commerce areas will have them. Agreed, the changes we see here are miniscule, but the earlier suggestions looked a bit more modern, which is not the look.
Brandon Karpowitz December 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM
But it's the look of their stores around the country. It's a style and design that allows consumers to easily recognize their brand. It's not like it was gawdy. I think 95% of the people wouldn't be able to tell you what was being changed. Heck I worked there last Christmas and had to look several times at the pics to see which was which. To make a business spend more money on a special redsign for this store, is just foolish. If I was business owner, I'd just pick up and move my store a half mile North then. I don't see how the design was anymore modern looking or any less prairie looking then the GE building. "Prairie" is not the first thought of any of those buildings in that area.
Denise Konkol (Editor) December 03, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Aurora went through the same process, and the Waukesha State Building is also right in line, as will be the two malls being planned in the area. To pick and choose which businesses get the review might look like the city is cowtowing to Kohl's, wouldn't it?
Bryan K. December 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I say that we approve the changes. If you look at every Kohl's store, they all have this new design on the outside. It's their corporate branding. That would be like if a McDonald's would be built in this area but the city said the "Golden Arches" aren't prairie style. I don't know how you could make the entrances in prairie style without losing the new corporate look. Hopefully, the city approves this because it's the best thing for them to do. Plus, usually when they remodel the outside of the store, the inside is also remodeled, which would be good for that store, as it is now over 10 years old.
Brandon Karpowitz December 03, 2012 at 09:46 PM
You're talking about new construction vs refreshing current buildings. 2 different things IMO. It's not like Kohl's was going to paint the store bight orange and put a giant clown on the roof. The design was not that far off base from everything else there.Nobody benefits from this other then the designer who gets paid to do his work twice and I'm guessing the city wants some fees for submitting the plans. In my opinion this is politicians at their worse. This doesn't impact or benefit the city of Muskego in anyway, it's just people making themselves look important. I've lived here for 30 years + now and am always confused by what Muskego is okay with and no okay with. This fairly minor update was a problem, but another business can put signs up that are some macaroni noodles and glitter away from looking like a 2nd grade art project.
Brandon Karpowitz December 03, 2012 at 09:48 PM
The interior was to be remodeled as well at that same time. Matter of fact Kohls was hiring people and keeping seasonal people longer to help because the store would be a mess. It literally got cancelled the week before it was to get started. No sense putting customers through 2 remodels. The store badly needs a refreshing inside.
The Warrior December 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Yes, have a general style you want to project but the city needs to be careful in how they go about this. If they are too strict, other businesses may choose to do business somewhere else.
Denise Konkol (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Again, they have to apply the same standards as well to every business, big or small, new or existing. The ProHealth Center has planned to renovate, but as they did so, are also asked to adopt the style and color (hence the tan and dark red) that you'll see in other buildings. This is also not a process unique to the city; 'going elsewhere' does not ensure that a business will not be asked to adopt design elements for the area in another city. Gotta wonder if we're having this same discussion if it were Walmart.

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