More than 100 people turned out for the Northbrook Village Board meeting Tuesday night. At one point during the meeting, trustee James Karagianis asked the audience who arrived to hear the Walmart proposal portion of the meeting and practically everyone raised their hand.
Representatives from Walmart and village staff described the company's proposed 24 hour supercenter at 1000 Skokie Blvd. for almost 90 minutes at Tuesday's board meeting.
Walmart's proposal at the board meeting was not an indicator of the village's support or opposition to the store's presence in Northbrook — at the meeting's start, Steve Elrod, the village attorney, said the village was legally obligated to consider any zoning change proposal, and a zoning change on the lot would be necessary for the development to proceed.
According to village staff, the 18 acre lot south of Dundee Rd. is currently zoned for office space, but would have to be rezoned for to make way for a commercial development. Walmart proposes a store that would occupy 15acres, but the developer wants to rezone the entire property with the potential for future commercial development on the leftover land.
If Walmart decides to proceed with their application process, their proposal would need to be considered by the village's plan and zoning commissions.
The proposed Walmart development could bring general merchandise, groceries and a pharmacy to the North Shore, along with 6,000 cars in estimated daily traffic, 25 weekly trucks and a 30 foot high sign, according to representatives from the company.
The development would not include a gas station, drive-through pharmacy or tire center, Walmarts reps said. Other discussed features were exterior lighting designed to avoid spillage into nearby residential areas, partially constructing the building with recycled material and a 300 square foot sign outside the proposed store.
Trustee Kathryn Ciesla asked the Walmart reps whether the store would sell alcohol or firearms. The representative said they would seek a liquor license for their grocery sales, but Village President Sandy Frum said they can not sell firearms.
"That does not meet our code whatsoever," Frum said, regarding firearm sales.
Representatives from the Northbrook East Homeowners Association spoke out against the proposal, warning the board members of the potential traffic congestion, pollution, and decreased property value that could occur because of the big box retailer nearby.
Trustee Michael Scolaro asked how much revenue the company expects the store to make, but representatives would not disclose that specific number. Instead, Scolaro asked how many stores the company had and their annual earnings, and used those responses to estimate the store could bring $1 - 2 million in revenue for the village.
The company's representatives said the store could bring in about 300 to 350 jobs to Northrook.