Brown Deer may get Goodwill

June 11, 2014

Brown Deer — It seems likely that Goodwill be coming to Brown Deer.

Weas Development presented a conceptual plan to the Brown Deer Plan Commission on Monday, June 9, for a roughly 19,000-square-foot Goodwill retail store and donation center, along with a roughly 7,800-square-foot retail strip building on the west side of Green Bay Road, just north of West Schroeder Drive.

The Goodwill store and strip building would take up about half of the 6-acre site previously occupied by Hearthside Nursing Home, which was removed about eight years ago. With the conceptual approval, Weas Development plans to return to the commission in July seeking a development agreement and certified survey map.

Goodwill would like to begin construction later this summer and open in March 2015, said Brown Deer Community Development Director Nate Piotrowski. The strip retail building would be built once 60 percent of the building is leased to tenants, he said.

Weas Development has investigated various development opportunities, including a senior living facility, multi-family apartments, and a hotel and gas station concept. It has worked with the village to present a concept that addresses the site comprehensively, although the developer cannot firmly identify how the remaining 3 acres of land on the parcel might be used.

While village officials are glad to see Goodwill satisfy a demand in the community, Piotrowski said he and other village officials have some concern about the long-term viability of additional retail space ot the site. There are already significant retail vacancies throughout the community, including the former American TV and Appliance lot at 6700 W. Brown Deer Road.

"One of the things we'd like to see addressed is whether this site stands a chance at luring more tenants and being sustainable or whether we are setting ourselves up for more retail space that won't be occupied," Piotrowski said.

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