Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pabst Farm Mall Muddling Along: The Road To Sprawlville, Chapter XIII

The next installment of a never-ending series on this here blog, "The Road To Sprawville," today runs into a bit of congestion and doubt:

That's because the infamous, still-being-recalibrated upscale Pabst Farms mall won another approval in Oconomowoc - - but there are nagging questions about some huge issues, like viability and design, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

There seems to be an unhappy realization that what will be most visible to the driving public (the constituency this entire drama is all about) is less a gorgeous destination and more a generic brace of big-box stores.

With that reality shielded - - or is it actually highlighted by - - a thousand-foot wall. Don't forget that Robert Frost, discussing neighborliness, once wrote that there were things not to love about walls.

Without any hard information about the major tenants they'd be subsidizing, the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors is holding on to its commitment of $1.75 million in local revenues to pay its relatively small share of the $25 million interstate highway interchange that will funnel shoppers to the project.

You would think that residents and officials out in Waukesha would demand a better design and specifics before investing all that money into something that will dominate the landscape in Western Waukesha County for generations.

Not just because they were minding their wallets, but because they read that Frost poem along the way.

2 comments:

Dan Sebald said...

Is the reporter accurate in this statement?

"Project officials did not speak during the meeting. But afterward, Pabst Farms spokesman Thad Nation said in an interview that the project would draw regional shoppers because there were not enough local residents to cater to the sprawling project."

Was that the true intent of Thad Nation's comment? If so, that makes absolutely no sense. The project will successfully draw regional shoppers _because_ there aren't enough local shoppers?

Also, there doesn't even seem to be tenants (even a few) lined up to rent in this project. The developers are going to go to a national shopping center convention to find tenants? In this economy where people are struggling to save their homes, it's not going to be a popular shopping center convention.

Pabst Farms should be opposed in any economy, but it should be blatantly clear to enthusiastic alders that this is bad for Oconomowoc.

Dave said...

When it is all said and done it sure seems like they will get some big boxes stores parked along the freeway. ha