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Local

Sycamore planning commission to reconsider Meijer permit

Big-box store revises plan for smaller anchor store that could expand

The planned site of Meijer superstore on the northwest corner of Peace Road and Route 23 in Sycamore still sits undeveloped Friday.
The planned site of Meijer superstore on the northwest corner of Peace Road and Route 23 in Sycamore still sits undeveloped Friday.

SYCAMORE – Meijer is apparently still coming to Sycamore. But it’s likely to be significantly smaller than originally planned.

Nearly a year and a half after the project was initially approved, a nearly 20 percent reduction to the new Meijer store’s footprint needs to be approved again Monday by the Sycamore Planning Commission. The commission meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St.

The project was approved by the commission and City Council in March 2017, and originally proposed a 193,000-square-foot big-box store and more than 680 parking spaces for the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company.

Now the project has to repeat the Planned Unit Development special-use permit approval process, because Meijer revised the proposed store’s footprint to include a 159,264-square-foot anchor store that can be expanded, and which will initially include 574 parking spaces. The square-foot-to-parking-spot ratio is about the same.

City Manager Brian Gregory said the store still will be a superstore, and the plans will still include a gas station on the site. He said the chief concern for the project proposal was adjusting parking to comply with city code. The change must go through the planning commission and City Council once again.

“Really, the size of the building didn’t need to go through the PUD,” Gregory said. “It was the number of parking spaces.”

Gregory said the commission also will revisit the part of the proposal that includes the placement of parking islands on the site. City code requires a parking island to be placed every 20 spaces to help with plowing and other upkeep, but Meijer has requested having oversized islands at the end of each parking aisle.

Former Mayor Ken Mundy said in March 2017 that construction on the Meijer development was expected to begin in spring 2018, with the goal of having the store open in 2019. As of Friday, the planned site of the superstore on the northwest corner of Peace Road and Illinois Route 23 still sits undeveloped.

Gregory said the city has been getting inquiries from neighbors about the project since it was approved. He said renderings of the revised project will be available for viewing during the 7 p.m. Monday meeting.

Gregory said it’s hard to say what the work timeline will look like for the new store. He said timelines vary from project to project when it comes to this kind of approval process.

“I don’t anticipate construction beginning this year,” Gregory said.

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