Meijer gets early nod of approval in Greenfield

Aug. 19, 2014

Greenfield — The Greenfield Plan Commission liked the conceptual plans for a Meijer super center offering groceries and general merchandise proposed for 60th Street and Layton Avenue.

Plans for the approximately $15 million development sailed through last week's Plan Commission with only small tweaks requested. A formal submission and approvals are still in the future, however.

The 192,000-square-foot Meijer store is proposed for the former site of the Mount Carmel nursing home.

The request is for the store to close at 11 p.m. but the gas pumps would remain open 24 hours. To soften the impact of the parking lot lights, half of them would be dimmed at some point before closing on the merchandise side of the store. Although the whole store would be open, most of the nighttime traffic is expected in the food section so parking lot lights would stay on in that area.

To break up the long walls of the huge store, the wall is more forward in some place and back at others, with architectural additions such as relief and cornices and varying the colors.

There will be room for four additional businesses inside, such as a bank or a hair salon.

After the favorable conceptual review, Jim Ostrowski, real estate representative for the company, was pleased: "It went great, but it's step-one in the process."

Although Meijer didn't ask the city to provide any incentives to come, Mayor Michael Neitzke said the city should consider creating a special taxing district for it anyway. Normally, special taxing districts are created to bring development in.

But even though the development could already be there, the city might create one and get some needed work done, Neitzke said.

That work could be to rehabilitate 60th Street and Layton Avenue and put a driveway into Greenfield High School off of Layton Avenue, Neitzke said.

"In three years, Layton will be toast," he said. And a second entrance to the High School has been talked about for some time, he said.

If the city created a tax incremental finance district (TIF), it could borrow money for those projects and be reimbursed with the property taxes Meijer pays, he said. The city would get to keep all the property taxes instead of sharing them with the schools and other taxing units until the road work is paid off.

"I don't want to say it's a windfall, but we could do some very, very good things for our community," Neitzke said.

But Alderman Karl Kastner who also sits on the Commission was cool to the idea. The additional tax dollars from Meijer could be used by the entire city, he said.

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