Good News On Grant Park Plaza

It’s good to see some positive momentum at Grant Park Plaza.

Two new tenants are coming to the center in coming months.

The biggest name is Planet Fitness. The national fitness club has signed a 10.5-year lease for a vacant 18,308 square-foot space in the northern half of the center, near Pick ‘n Save. The club could open as early as September, following more than $600,000 in improvements coming to the center with the buildout of the new space.

To help fund those improvements, the South Milwaukee City Council approved disbursing $250,000 in tax incremental financing and other funds held in escrow per the development agreement with the center owners — funds that would come available only when the center reached an 80% occupancy rate. The addition of Planet Fitness brings it past that threshold.

The council also approved the sale of the Advanced Auto Parts lot to the Crowne Group Inc., a real estate investment company. It’s a deal similar to what’s occurred with other parcels at Grant Park Plaza.

Additionally, the center has a letter of intent from CSL Plasma to open in 10,000 to 12,000 square feet adjacent to Walgreens next spring. Stay tuned for more details on that tenant. CSL has locations nationwide, including in Racine and Beloit. Learn more on its website.

The addition of the plasma center will push mall occupancy past 90% — not bad for a strip center these days.

11 Comments

Filed under Development, South Milwaukee

11 responses to “Good News On Grant Park Plaza

  1. Incledon, James W

    HEY ERIK, THIS IS GOOD STUFF
    JIM INCLEDON
    AMERICAN FAMILY

    • Julia Esaman

      That is a good plan for Grant Plaza but what about Downtown South Milwaukee business. We are at Memory Lane Antiques and Collectibles store on Milwaukee Ave and there are sure a lot of empty stores available for rent over this area. Why not try to get some small businesses in DT and give them some kind of incentive to bring their business to the area, either tax breaks or other. We could use women’s clothing, photo shop, donut shop, small grocery store, cell phone company or any business to fill in the empty stores. Thanks, Julia

      • Julia: I 100% agree, and we are working toward that. Downtown is and will be my #1 priority as mayor, and we will solve this. We have to. That starts with developing a community-supported plan for our city center … and then working that plan. That effort is coming very soon. Meanwhile, I am looking to deliver some quick, early wins. Like bringing outdoor movies back downtown. And outlawing downtown rummage sales. And more strictly and proactively enforcing our property maintenance codes. All of those things have happened in my first two months as mayor … and I assure you we are just getting started!

      • And a belated welcome to South Milwaukee, by the way :)

  2. Sm girl

    Erik,
    I am extremely concerned about the plasma center coming to town. It is going to draw all sorts of people to the city, not necessarily for good intentions.
    Really, our little bedroom community has a comparable market to Beloit? I find that troublesome.

    Where was the public input on this one? I appreciate your eagerness in bringing business to the city, but a pay for plasma business is less than classy.

    • concerned resident

      many if us share these same concerns, Mr. Mayor.
      any response?

      • Happy to reply. First of all, I’m happy to see momentum at Grant Park Plaza. There were too many empty storefronts there for far too long, and that had to change. Getting any strip center to 90% occupancy these days is a good thing. And it’s especially good for Grant Park Plaza, as it improves the health of the tax incremental financing district it sits in.

        A healthy Grant Park Plaza helps our entire city.

        As to the types of businesses, the City Council and mayor do not have the power to pick and choose what businesses choose to open specific storefronts. If something is a permitted use – as these two businesses are – then there is little if anything we can do to prevent them from opening. Nor should governments dictate this. The market must do that. And obviously both businesses think they can be successful in South Milwaukee.

        I also take issue with the comparisons to Beloit and Racine. Of course, both cities, like every city, have their problems. But if you haven’t been to Beloit lately, I encourage you to check it out. My in-laws live across the border in Rockton, Ill., and I’ve visited Beloit a number of times in recent years. They have made significant strides with their downtown and riverfront that I think we can all learn from. And there are some positive things happening in Racine, too, when it comes to redevelopment. Look no farther than the front page of today’s Business section.

  3. Donna

    Planet Fitness!!! Me and so many of my clients are so excited about this!!

  4. Chris H

    Any update on this? There doesn’t appear to be any activity going on at Grant Park Plaza to date. If the city dispersed TIF funds to the shopping center owners, what is the deadline for them to make this happen?

  5. Kelly Lederhaus

    Love the Planet Fitness coming to the city and growth at the Grant Park Plaza!!! However, there are two empty gas stations, both on 10th ave, within a few blocks of each other, that are horrendous eyesores. Greenspace/mini parks would be a better solution than waiting for another possible buyer(s). Understandably the cost could be extensive, as the tanks would have to be dug out and the soil tested for toxins; but there are grants and other federal monies specifically for gentrification of older nieghborhoods. As the owner of a home built in 1900, in an area that is and has some of the oldest history related to the building of our city, I would like more green and less waiting.

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