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Plans for Meijer store moving forward in Sussex

June 16, 2014

Village of Sussex – Although there have been a few delays, plans for a big box Meijer supermarket at the southeast corner of Highways 164 and K are moving forward, officials say.

After a year-long series of exchanges at the municipal level, Grand Rapids, Mich.,-based Meijer in October purchased a 40-acre parcel within what had been the town of Lisbon. The property has since been annexed into Sussex's corporate limits.

Initially, there had been talk of Meijer opening the Sussex store at some point in 2015, but those plans appear to have been pushed back to 2016.

The 191,350-square-foot Meijer store in Sussex is to include a gas station. Meijer paid $5.25 million for the property.

Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said preliminary work – including site grading and installing stormwater infrastructure – is underway at the site.

"But they are still working on some of the permitting issues with the (Department of Natural Resources)," Smith said of the state agency. "I think that's pushed the project timeline back just a little."

Late last week, Frank Guglielmi, senior director of communications with Meijer, said he was not prepared to make an immediate announcement on the Sussex location – or any of the other sites proposed in Southeastern Wisconsin.

"We are preparing to make an announcement about our sites in Wisconsin," Guglielmi said in an email. "I'll need to get that completed before I can get into detail about any individual sites."

Lengthy permitting process

From his understanding, Smith said work at the Meijer site should pick up steam once the permitting process has been satisfied.

A number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, have been involved in the Meijer proposal in Sussex since plans were first announced. The property had been a "suspected area" for wetlands, and the finding has resulted in a higher degree of scrutiny than normally takes place on a construction site.

The DNR, meanwhile, is requiring Meijer obtain a Chapter 30 Permit because two stormwater control ponds have been planned at the site. Additionally, another permit, known as NR 216, is being required to satisfy concerns of ground erosion and stormwater control plans.

The Sussex store is one of more than a half-dozen spots announced as Meijer, a longtime staple in Michigan, makes its foray into the crowded Milwaukee-area grocery market.

Next year, Meijer anticipates opening stores in Grafton, Kenosha, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa. In 2016, stores are slated to open in Greenfield, Janesville, Sussex and Waukesha.

Speaking at a business leaders' luncheon in March, Hank Meijer, co-CEO, said the company plans to open between 10 and a dozen new stores each year after the initial roll-out in 2016.

Meijer has a presence in five states, with more than 200 stores in operation. In addition to Michigan, the retailer is located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Meijer said most of the company's growth plans, moving forward, are focused in Wisconsin.

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Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: Nov. 27-30, Dec. 5-31. Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights event features more than a million holiday lights along a mile-long trail that winds through the woods, Includes animated figures and holiday scenes. Call (262) 970-5398 for details. $15-$25. $15 per carload, $25 limo, mini-coach or large van. www.thecountrychristmas.com

 World’s Greatest Cookie Sale: Noon-4 p.m.  Nov. 28, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Sale features homemade holiday cookies and baked goods in many varieties. Entertainment includes magic shows, cookie and cupcake decorating, face painting, holiday coloring contest and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Sale ends at 4 p.m. For more information on the World’s Greatest Cookie Sale, call Country Springs, (262) 547-0201 or visit thecountrychristmas.com/cookiesale. Free.

 German Christmas Market: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 28, 29 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 30, Downtown Oconomowoc, 100 E. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc. Celebrate Wisconsin’s heritage at this family festival that features heated tents, German beer, music, live bands, authentic German food, vendors, Santa and more. Free http://www.germanchristmasmarket.org. 

 Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 30, Oconomowoc Landscape Supply & Garden Center, County Road K, Oconomowoc. Features local seasonally grown produce and artisan food products.  www.oconomowoc.org.

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