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Meijer adds Greenfield to list of possible big-box store sites

Retailer eyes 25-acre property that includes Mount Carmel

A rendering of a proposed Meijer store in Waukesha that is still pending. The company is now looking to Greenfield to build a store.

A rendering of a proposed Meijer store in Waukesha that is still pending. The company is now looking to Greenfield to build a store.

March 12, 2014

Greenfield — The former Mount Carmel nursing home property could become home to a bustling Meijer super store offering both groceries and department store merchandise.

The site, at 5700 W. Layton Ave., is being considered as a possible location in the Grand Rapids, Mich.,-based company's expansion into Southeast Wisconsin, joining similar proposals in Oak Creek, Wauwatosa, Waukesha and elsewhere.

Mount Carmel, now known as Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation, occupies most of the available 25 acres, but is in the process of closing down.

Good for city and retailer

Meijer CEO Hank Meijer made the announcement, noting that the retailer is considering other sites in Greenfield as well.

But the 25-acre site, right off Interstate 894, is particularly prime and sizeable enough for a big store, said Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke.

If Meijer ultimately picks that site for development, it would fit Greenfield's wish list, which includes the city's efforts to make Layton Avenue its main street, Neitzke said.

He applauded turning the former nursing home property into a major retail hub.

"It would be great for our tax base and the residents of our city," Neitzke said. The taxbase there now is only about $1.5 million which could jump to 10 or 15 times that with the potential Meijer, he said.

Steps in process

With the announcement, Greenfield officials started the process of changing the city's land-use plan for the area to be designated planned mixed use. That would open it up for all kinds of development except manufacturing.

Assuming Meijer formally proposes a development plan, zoning would have to be changed also. Both elements would require public hearings.

If all goes well, the Meijer CEO said a store could open as early as 2016, Neitzke said.

Neitzke said Greenfield has several potential sites for development that Meijer could also be looking at: the soon-to-be-vacated Kmart at 4601 S. 27th St., the former Pick 'n Save in the Spring Mall shopping center; the Loomis Crossings area at I-894 and Loomis Road; and old Chapman school at 84th Street and Chapman Avenue.

Officials of Meijer could not be reached for comment.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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