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New Walmart Development Proposed Before Northbrook Board

A 15 acre lot in east Northbrook could feature a 24-hour supercenter if the Village of Northbrook approves Walmart's request to rezone the space and develop a new store.

More than 100 people turned out for the Northbrook Village Board meeting Tuesday night. At one point during the meeting, trustee James Karagianis asked the audience who arrived to hear the Walmart proposal portion of the meeting and practically everyone raised their hand. 

Representatives from Walmart and village staff described the company's proposed 24 hour supercenter at 1000 Skokie Blvd. for almost 90 minutes at Tuesday's board meeting. 

Walmart's proposal at the board meeting was not an indicator of the village's support or opposition to the store's presence in Northbrook — at the meeting's start, Steve Elrod, the village attorney, said the village was legally obligated to consider any zoning change proposal, and a zoning change on the lot would be necessary for the development to proceed. 

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According to village staff, the 18-acre lot south of Dundee Rd. is currently zoned for office space, but would have to be rezoned for to make way for a commercial development. Walmart proposes a store that would occupy 15acres, but the developer wants to rezone the entire property with the potential for future commercial development on the leftover land. 

If Walmart decides to proceed with their application process, their proposal would need to be considered by the village's plan and zoning commissions.

The proposed Walmart development could bring general merchandise, groceries and a pharmacy to the North Shore, along with 6,000 cars in estimated daily traffic, 25 weekly trucks and a 30-foot high sign, according to representatives from the company. 

The development would not include a gas station, drive-through pharmacy or tire center, Walmarts reps said. Other discussed features were exterior lighting designed to avoid spillage into nearby residential areas, partially constructing the building with recycled material and a 300-square-foot sign outside the proposed store.

Trustee Kathryn Ciesla asked the Walmart reps whether the store would sell alcohol or firearms. The representative said they would seek a liquor license for their grocery sales, but Village President Sandy Frum said they can not sell firearms. 

"That does not meet our code whatsoever," Frum said, regarding firearm sales. 

Representatives from the Northbrook East Homeowners Association spoke out against the proposal, warning the board members of the potential traffic congestion, pollution, and decreased property value that could occur because of the big box retailer nearby. 

Trustee Michael Scolaro asked how much revenue the company expects the store to make, but representatives would not disclose that specific number. Instead, Scolaro asked how many stores the company had and their annual earnings, and used those responses to estimate the store could bring $1-2 million in revenue for the village. 

The company's representatives said the store could bring in about 300 to 350 jobs to Northrook. 

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Richard Glidden December 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I live in East Northbrook. I grew up on Longaker AND, love the idea and convenience of a 24 hour store along with the national success it offers let alone the tax revenue it will deliver. We lose and personally pay huge tax revenue to Glenview whenever we shop at Costco. Wise up Northbrook and stop catering to the loudest minority. This is the last comment I will make and am sure repetitive commentators will continue perpetuating misplaced personal prescient fears with their negative onslaught.
Jeff Wheeler December 13, 2012 at 06:16 PM
The idea is great all around. The prospect of millions of dollars flowing into the Village from sales tax revenues will help keep property taxes low in Northbrook. Additionally, property values are not so much affected with the exception of VERY FEW houses off the Midway Road subdivision and off Sunset Ridge Rd. You might even see property values increase due to nearby shopping and convenience factors and that more businesses are located in a walking distance to that neighborhood. Remember, these are the same neighborhoods that were backed up to freight train tracks up until about 10 years ago or so -- so it should not bother residents too much. Traffic patterns and flow will all be engineered. Perhaps even a Edens Expressway southbound exit ramp at Dundee. Yes, you might see 6000 additional daily cars but how many are there already? That intersection on Dundee/Skokie needs an update anyway. The surrounding communities will definitely shop there. You will be surprised how many Mercedes, Lexuses, Acuras and BMW's you will find in the Walmart parking lots -- people want low prices and to save money. This is a complete win for Northbrook and the entire surrounding cities and villages.
Courtney Schubert Shafron December 13, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Wow some of you seam to think that the Wheeling Walmart is a bad thing, have you all been through Wheeling lately? I wish Northbrook looked as nice as Wheeling does woth its lovely foutains, matching fences along its main streets (maintained by the village), the well kept areas all along main roads while our town of Northbrook has fenses falling down, abandoned property, few buosnesses. If having a Walmart in our town will help with the revenue i am all for it! We need buisnesses in this town it is what makes a community thrive!
Jeff Wheeler December 13, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Anne -- with healthy revenues, a large piece of land and buildings paying property taxes, the sales tax revenues, and other forms of revenue streams such as the employees shopping in the surrounding areas -- all these things help property values across the entire Village. If the village and school districts have healthy revenues it can keep taxes lower. Thus possibly increasing property values of the homes and make the community a more desirable place to live. For example, if you put in a 1000-unit housing complex -- those homes will likely have kids that will go to schools, requiring more teachers, more schools, more money, more park district dollars, etc. You put in a business that will generate property taxes -- no kids, no schools, just extra money in the coffers of the village and the schools without the extra students and families to support, everyone's property taxes will decrease or at least stabilize. I don't want to move to a Village that has ridiculous property taxes. I want to live in a city or village that has a healthy economy and a good balance of homes/businesses/offices/etc....
Chuck December 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I would love to have Wal Mart at that location. Spend less live better!

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