Menard Inc.’s proposal to develop an outdoor self-storage business near the former Northridge Mall in Milwaukee was rejected by a municipal commission.
The Board of Zoning Appeals denied a special use permit and waivers that would have allowed Menard to add the storage units to the parking lot of a former Pick ‘n Save supermarket, 8120 W. Brown Deer Road.
Menard, who operates a nearby home improvement store, bought the old grocery store in 2017 and converted it into an indoor self-storage center.
The company wanted to add 246 outdoor self-storage units around the perimeter of the 3-acre parking lot.
This $2-3 million investment would have generated more revenue for Menard and created a barrier to prevent illegal dumping in the parking lot, according to Menard executives.
City Development Department officials objected to the proposal.
They said Menard’s plans run counter to the type of development they were seeking for the area – which has seen few commercial projects since Northridge closed nearly 20 years ago.
The city’s 2007 master plan for Far Northwest Milwaukee and other area plans call for job creation, redevelopment of commercial corridors, and revitalization of the Northridge site.
Self-storage centers, which use a lot of space and create few jobs, conflict with these goals, according to DCD.
Representatives for Menard told the zoning board that they understood the department’s position.
But, they are tired of waiting for more development in the Northridge area.
The board of directors voted 5 to 1 on Thursday to reject Ménard’s candidacy.
Council Chairman Roy Evans was the dissenting vote. He said Menard was a “good business partner in the region”.
Other board members agreed with this sentiment.
But they also said Menard’s proposal did not meet the criteria for overcoming the zoning code’s ban on self-storage businesses there. The indoor storage facility was approved five years ago for temporary use.
Board members who rejected the proposal also said the outdoor storage facility could harm efforts to redevelop the area.
“It could have a detrimental effect on the kind of development we would like to see,” said board member Lindsey St. Arnold Bell.
A China-based investor group bought Northridge in 2008 and announced plans to redevelop it into a commercial marketplace to sell Asian-made clothing, toys, furniture and other consumer goods to US-based retailers. United States.
But no work has been done on the site, and in 2019 the city issued a condemnation order over the dilapidated property.
This could lead to the city acquiring Northridge, demolishing the mall and selling its land for new development, which could include light industrial projects.
But that plan suffered a setback in March, when the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that the sentencing order may not have followed the reasonable standards required by law. This lawsuit is pending in court.