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updated: 6/16/2014 6:08 PM

Menards plan to be considered by Vernon Hills village board

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  • Menards wants to build a facility at Milwaukee Avenue and Gregg's Parkway in Vernon Hills.

       Menards wants to build a facility at Milwaukee Avenue and Gregg's Parkway in Vernon Hills.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 2013

 
 

After eight months of review and adjustments, a plan for a new Menards store in Vernon Hills is being considered for approval.

In an informal work session Tuesday, the village board will consider the proposal for the northwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Gregg's Parkway. The board will also consider a recommendation for preliminary approval, with conditions, from the village's planning and zoning commission.

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Menard Inc., is seeking a special-use permit to allow for development of a four-lot subdivision that abuts the upscale Gregg's Landing subdivision to the west.

Menards wants to build a two-story building and garden center totaling 286,986 square feet on nearly 18 acres. It would include an attached accessory warehouse where customers would pick up building materials.

The village board last October gave the initial OK for continued review of the plan, but concerns from several residents who spoke included the size and height of the building, traffic, and landscaping.

Adjustments, such as attaching the warehouse rather than having it separate, were made in the ensuing months though there still are some outstanding details to consider.

Many resident and homeowner association comments have been considered and, in most instances, implemented in the plans, Village Manager John Kalmar told the Daily Herald. He added the village will meet this week with Bay Hill neighborhood homeowners regarding landscaping Menards has agreed to install.

Placing a traffic signal on Gregg's Parkway also is being studied, and the company has been "cooperative and willing to work with us and the neighbors to address as many of their concerns as possible," Kalmar said.

Dennis Skidmore, who represents the Inverness neighborhood, said that association opposes the plan. He cited concerns about the hundreds of cars each day expected on Gregg's Parkway, which at times can be difficult to access. Truck traffic also is a potential issue.

Whether a third home improvement center would be viable is another question, according to Skidmore. Lowe's is just south of Gregg's Parkway and Home Depot also is in town. The proposed Menards is the replacement for one on Route 60 in Mundelein that closed last fall.

A consultant for the village reported the Vernon Hills market is "dynamic enough to absorb the additional retail space and continue to grow."

The plan commission recommendation has 32 conditions, including reconsidering architectural elements such as the look of the front of the building.

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