Long-awaited Woodman's opening this week in Buffalo Grove
Buffalo Grove residents have been talking about it for months. Now they will get a chance to experience Woodman's Food Market for themselves.
The new 240,000-square-foot grocery superstore at the northwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Parkway officially is scheduled to open Saturday, but a soft opening could occur as soon as today, said Clint Woodman, president of the Janesville, Wisconsin-based company.
Banners declaring the store open will be raised as soon as it's ready to go, he added.
Among those eagerly awaiting the store's opening is Buffalo Grove Village President Beverly Sussman, who noted Woodman's site has been awaiting development since the village annexed it in 1990.
"We have waited a very long time to have something on that property," she said. "And we have the right business on that property and we're really looking forward to it."
Sussman said she has shopped at Woodman's Kenosha store and promised, "Once you're there, you'll be hooked."
Clint Woodman said the store will offer more than 100,000 square feet of retail space, with merchandise ranging from the small products to bulk items one might find at a Costco.
"Our stores do a lot of volume, so we're able to buy direct from the manufacturer in truckloads," he said.
The store should be a regional draw, Woodman said, as customers travel from as much as an hour away to get to the chain's existing stores, which include locations in Carpentersville and North Aurora.
The Buffalo Grove location, he said, fits into the Woodman's model of locating at a major intersection with easy access to a highway.
The village also helped attract the store with an incentive package that will share up to $7 million in sales tax revenue with Woodman's. That money helped pay for intersection improvements, site work and land acquisition.
"The biggest hurdle for this part of the site not getting developed over the years is the intersection improvements along Milwaukee, because they are so costly," Buffalo Grove Community Director Christopher Stilling said.
Village officials believe the store will serve as a catalyst for more development along Milwaukee Avenue.
"Obviously they're a regional player," Village Manager Dane Bragg said. "We believe they will be a strong anchor for the Milwaukee (Avenue) corridor."
"We expect to draw from a large radius to come into Buffalo Grove and shop," Bragg added.
Although Woodman's stores traditionally have not accepted credit cards, customers at the Buffalo Grove store can pay with a Discover card.
"It's always been our philosophy that we limit our operating costs," Woodman said. "Accepting all credit cards would be very costly. We would have to raise our prices."
Woodman said the company is excited to be coming to Buffalo Grove and already has become a part of the community. Under an agreement village officials announced last month, Woodman's will be the presenting sponsor of several Buffalo Grove Days activities, including the main stage entertainment on Saturday and the parade on Sunday. The store also is sponsoring food and beverage sales to benefit local nonprofit groups.
The grocery store is only one component of 25 acres of commercial development on either side of Deerfield Parkway. The plans also include a gas station, convenience store, quick lube and car wash.
Shorewood Development Group has is developing the southwest side of the intersection with tenants including a Chase Bank, Panera Bread, Starbucks and MOD Pizza.