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Menards Zoning Request for Milwaukee Self-Storage Addition Denied

October 27, 2022

3 Min Read
Menards Zoning Request for Milwaukee Self-Storage Addition Denied

Update 10/27/22 – Menard Inc. has once again approached the city with a request to develop more self-storage on the parking lot of its Milwaukee facility. The planning commission voted this week to postpone a vote on the rezoning, which would allow the operator to expand at 8120 W. Brown Deer Road. City officials expressed concerns about the project during an Oct. 24 meeting, noting the development isn’t what they’d like to see in the area. The city's 2007 master plan includes development that’ll create jobs, commercial corridors and revitalize the Northridge site. A few commissioners also asked for more details about the design of the additional structures.

7/7/22 – A request from Menard Inc. to develop more self-storage in the parking lot of its Milwaukee facility was rejected last week by the city’s board of zoning appeals. The company asked for a special-use permit and variances to add 246 vehicle-storage units on the 3-acre lot. The $2 million investment would also curb illegal dumping, Menard representatives told the board.

The Department of City Development opposed the proposal, noting that self-storage isn’t the use they’d consider for that area. The 2007 master plan seeks to revitalize the northwest region by creating jobs and redeveloping commercial corridors. Self-storage conflicts with these goals, the group said.

Menard representatives said that while they understand the master plan, they’re weary of waiting for more development. The board voted 5-1 on June 30 to deny the application. They also noted the proposal didn’t meet the criteria to overcome the zoning code, which prohibits self-storage. The existing facility was approved as a temporary use in 2017. In addition, board members feared outdoor storage would harm the area’s chances for redevelopment, the source reported.

“It could have a detrimental effect on the type of development we would like to see,” said board member Lindsey St. Arnold Bell.

7/20/17 – Menard Inc., which operates the Menards home-improvement retail chain throughout the Midwest, intends to buy a former supermarket next to one of its existing stores in the Northridge area of Milwaukee and convert it to self-storage. The company is seeking zoning approval to use the 61,700-square-foot building at 8120 W. Brown Deer Road as self-storage, with plans to eventually expand its neighboring retail location into that space, according to the source.

The current Menards facility is 162,300 square feet and is undergoing renovations to the building’s interior as well as adding warehouse space. Since the retailer doesn’t have immediate plans to expand, it would operate the former Pick ‘n Save as self-storage to help pay for ongoing maintenance costs until it needs the space for its retail operation, according to the proposal submitted to the city.

"Menards plans to be in this location for a long time, but in order for us to do this, we need to be able to continuously expand the store," company officials wrote in their proposal.

The city appears to favor the plan as a way to revitalize the area, which has been hit by several business closures, the source reported. The Pick ‘n Save closed in 2014. The nearby Northridge Mall shut down more than a decade ago. Menards opened its current retail location in 2005.

The city’s redevelopment plan for the area includes the addition of “smaller neighborhood-oriented retail businesses,” as well as the conversion of large vacant retail structures to distribution centers and light-industrial uses, according to the source.

The board of zoning appeals is expected to review the Menards proposal on July 27.

Founded in 1958 and based in Eau Claire, Wis., Menard Inc. operates more than 300 Menards home-improvement stores in 14 states, primarily in the Midwest.

Sources:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Menard's Proposal to Develop an Outdoor Self-Storage Business Near Milwaukee's Former Northridge Mall Is Rejected by a City Panel
Journal Sentinel: Menards Store on Milwaukee's Northwest Side to Expand to Former Pick 'n Save Supermarket
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Menard Is Again Seeking Approval for an Outdoor Storage Facility Near the Former Northridge Mall

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