Meijer submits plans for Sycamore store; permit to be issued soon

January 10, 2019

SYCAMORE – Almost two years after it was initially proposed, a plan for the Sycamore Meijer store on the northwest corner of Peace Road and state Route 23 is finally starting to take shape.

John Sauter, director of building and engineering for Sycamore, said the city’s building and zoning department received building plans from the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company Dec. 3. He said he anticipates a building permit to be issued in three to five weeks and for construction to begin sometime this spring.

“I guess the best way to put it is as soon as the weather breaks,” Sauter said.

In the meantime, Sauter said, the plan is under review through his office for zoning and building code compliance.

Sauter said no contractor information is available for the project, which is on a 16-acre site, and will include store space for three more contractees and have 572 parking spaces. He said the nearly 160,000-square-foot store’s expected opening is scheduled for spring 2020.

Sauter said the project also includes a roughly 3,400-square-foot gas station built nearby, much like the HyVee store in Sycamore has currently. He said the Meijer gas station will be on another site that is about 2 acres and will have an additional 19 spaces.

The company’s earlier plan for the store included a 193,000-square-foot building and more than 680 parking spaces on the site. That original plan was initially approved by the commission and City Council in March 2017.

The project had to repeat the planned unit development special-use permit approval process through the city. That was because Meijer revised the proposed store’s footprint to include a 159,264-square-foot anchor store that will initially include 574 parking spaces. The Sycamore City Council approved the resubmitted project during their July 16 meeting.

Mike Flickinger, director of real estate for Meijer, had said the decreased square footage plan is a prototype that all new Meijer stores will adhere to so the store can make the most of its space and still keep the same amount of personnel as originally anticipated in building a new store. He had said the company doesn’t anticipate actually expanding its footprint from the now-smaller anchor store in the future.

Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi did not immediately return a request for additional comment early Thursday from the Daily Chronicle.

Sauter said there are a lot of variables involved in a larger-scale project with a lot of moving parts. Nevertheless, he said, he doesn’t anticipate coming across any major obstacles with the project from this point forward.

Sauter said Meijer has been exceptional to work with so far, and it’s very clear that the company has done this many times before.

“I think they got it down to a science at this point,” Sauter said.

Sauter said he suspects that the city will issue a phased permit for Meijer. He said that would allow the company to start construction as soon as weather permits.

“Even if the building plans aren’t completely approved, at least we can get them out there moving some dirt around and getting the site prepped,” Sauter said. “It’s not that uncommon with a project this size.”

Sauter said the community seems to be very excited about Meijer coming in, from what he’s seen and heard. He said his office gets asked frequently about the status of the project.

Sauter said there doesn’t appear to be negative public feedback about the new superstore coming to the area.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Sauter said.

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