MILWAUKEE -- Walmart has announced it is closing its store on West Brown Deer Road this fall, and will move to a bigger building at Timmerman Plaza on Silver Spring Drive. The bigger store means at least 50 new jobs, but it's another hit for an already struggling area of Milwaukee.
There seems to be a growing trend along Brown Deer Road in Milwaukee: empty parking lots, vacant buildings and stranded shopping carts. "So many stores have closed. Stein's, Lowe's, and look at how long Northridge has been out of here. I mean, there's nothing," one shopper said.
Walmart will be yet another business packing up and leaving, as it looks for a bigger space on Milwaukee's northwest side. "We don't like to see businesses moving out of the area, but I don't think it really signals that the area is bad, or the area is in decline," Al Hill, the president of the Granville-Brown Deer Chamber of Commerce said.
Hill says though it's tough to see businesses move out of the area, it hasn't been all bad news for the area surrounding Northridge Mall. "Pick 'N Save in recent years and the Menards seem to be doing well. Sometimes you have to go through some pain before you go through some growth, and I think that's kind of what we're going through right now," Hill said.
Hill says it's just another sign of the times changing, but he feels the question shouldn't be why businesses are moving away, but rather, what the city can do to move the area forward and get new businesses to move in. Until then, many shoppers are thinking about the immediate future. "I've got to go all the way to Menomonee Falls now for a Walmart. It will be a little bit further for us, but that's the way it is," one shopper said.
The new Walmart store will be located south of Brown Deer Road, so a lot of customers may end up going to the store in Menomonee Falls. Meanwhile, the Walmart lot on Brown Deer Road will be up for sale. This comes as the owner of Northridge Mall stopped paying the mortgage on the vacant mall. The owner plans to make a trip to Milwaukee this spring to discuss the future of that property.
For additional details on the Timmerman Plaza Walmart, CLICK HERE to read the article at the Milwaukee Business Journal's website.