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Muskego Asks Kohl's To Reconsider Design Plans

Proposed 'refresh' to the entrances concerns planning commission, as it steers away from desired 'prairie style' design for the area

had presented a design plan to the Planning Commission Tuesday night at City Hall, which architect Jeremy Flint called a "minor improvement to refresh the front entrances."

The new look would follow other stores that have recently undergone renovations, like the one on Highway 100 in West Allis, and is part of the corporate look desired for all stores. The plan included metal insets around the entrances as well as metal 'eyebrows' over each entrance and painted pillars to either side.

However, with the Aurora Medical facility being constructed just to the west of the retailer, and it being required to follow the city's design guide to reflect a prairie style architecture (similar to the across the street from Kohl's), commissioners asked them to reconsider the design.

"Granted, these are not substantial changes, but I wonder why I would approve them if they appear to be moving further away from our design guide," said Gerry Jacques.  "This appears to be more modern in architecture, and I would like to know if there's a way we can have come up with something more prairie."

Jerald Hulbert agreed, although he also acknowledged the need for corporations to maintain a certain look to create a brand identity.

"If  you want Kohl's, this is what it's going to be - they are like the elephant in the jungle - their store is their logo, but my concern is that they wouldn't match up," Hulbert said.

Director of planning Jeff Muenkel was not as concerned as the changes were not more substantial and he pointed out that there was still opportunity to work with Aurora if commissioners were concerned about matching architecture.

However, commissioner Jim Burke wondered if Kohl's had even consulted the design guide set by the city, and with representatives from the retailer present, the commission asked them to revisit the design.

To that Flint said, "it's not out of the question - we'd be williing to look at other building design options."

The commission deferred the matter until a new plan could be submitted by Kohl's, which could come as early as January 2012.

Gregory Kluck December 07, 2011 at 11:17 PM
The new design is quite nice. It actually focuses on the idea that "You can come in here". I don't think it's all that different from other stores in the area. Kohl's however is not the "elephant in the jungle", Wal*Mart is. Sure doesn't look prairie style to me.
Denise Konkol (Editor) December 08, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Not positive how far the design plan reaches for this...Walmart may not be included, although like Kohl's they too have a 'look' that is also their brand, no matter what else is going on around them.
Asiseeit December 08, 2011 at 04:50 AM
So much for being a Business Friendly community. The PC needs to realize that Kohls proposal isn't ugly or obnoxious. If we want to attract large, tax paying successful Business, we can't send the message that we will work with you to get you here, but once you are here, we have you by the balls. These corporations are successful because they create and grow a brand ID. We need to either partner with them to help in their success or give up on the notion that business will want to locate here. Plan commission and common council, be careful here, potential businesses are watching.
Deanna Kuhn Knasinski December 08, 2011 at 05:15 AM
What the hell do we need an Aurora here?? Too many everywhere, how about Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendys, Rocky Rocco's etc.?
Lisa December 08, 2011 at 10:34 AM
Kohl's was not asked to have their store reflect a prairie design when they came here so why ask them to do it now? The update is pretty minor and is an update to match the corporate design that they have been doing at the other stores in the area. I think the PC is going a little overboard here.
Gail @ Curves December 08, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Dear Warriors Mom: You are going to need an Aurora to clean out your blocked arteries from all that saturated fat if you keep eating at Taco Bell, Burger King, etc.!How's about compromising for a Ruby Tuesdays or TGIF that at least carries someting healthy on their menu?
Gregory Kluck December 08, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Also Gail, Aurora's jobs are paying more and are full time where as fast food joints generally do not hire full time except for the shift and general managers. You can't afford to live in Muskego working at BK and the others unless you are the General Manager. You can if you are working at Aurora.
Robert M. Lucas December 09, 2011 at 05:09 AM
My Company has worked with dozens of Kohl's stores throughout Southeast WI and northern IL putting together the remodeling and grand openings of these stores. Every free standing store has the exact same double entry "trademark" design and looks great. The existing store does not reflect a prairie style and the minor face lift will certainly not detract from the local architecture. It is time for the PC to get off there high horse and become a bit more flexible and more business friendly. I know of several business opportunities that have been lost and almost lost because of the difficult working relationship and hurdles the PC consistently puts in the way
AJ December 10, 2011 at 04:10 PM
where is the option to be individual/Kohl's should not be subject to input from the so-called powers that be. it's an attractive store & will continue to be so. why not concentrate on areas that really need redoing e.g. the land adjacent tp PNC. it's been a total eyesore for many years. would certainly lend itself to development. the "powers that be" missed the boat on this one!

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