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City Backs Changes to Pave Way for Trader Joe's

Aldermen will vote Feb. 7 on changes to accommodate Trader Joe's and a yet-unannounced junior anchor store next to Target, after plan commissioners backed the changes.

Changes to smooth the way for have been recommended by the city Plan Commission, City Community Development Director Dan Ertl said.

The only sticking point was a request to increase the height of parking lot light poles, he said.

Trader Joe's, a specialty grocer known for its private label specialty products and wines, wants to build in Underwood Crossing, a new shopping center under construction at 12821 W. Bluemound Rd. to be anchored by a 140,000-square-foot Target store.

Underwood developer Ryan Cos. agreed to investigate whether the three light poles closest to the western Columbia Gardens neighborhood could be at the city's maximum 20-feet height and still create enough light. If not, Ryan said it would request all poles be 25 feet but put extra shielding on the three closest to homes.

Aldermen may vote Feb. 7 on requests for these changes:

  • Allowing Trader Joe's to be added to a shopping center monument sign, which would be result in three tenants on a sign versus the city's limit of two.
  • A 5,600-square-foot increase in building size for Trader Joe's and another yet unannounced retail business or restaurant at 18,000 square feet.
  • A 5,901-square-foot increase in a junior anchor connected to the 140,000-square-foot Target store under construction. The yet-to-be-announced national soft goods clothing retailer would be 23,901 square feet.
  • A more robust landscaping plan to respond to concerns by the neighboring Columbia Gardens subdivision. Ryan Cos. would add 49 evergreen trees, 8- to 10-foot tall on a berm between the homes and shopping center.
  • Fewer but taller light poles of 25 feet. The city's maximum height for lights is 20 feet. The lights would turn on at dusk and turn off 30 minutes after closing, except for parking areas for overnight stocking and other work.

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