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.