Planning Commission Approves Design For Gateway Arch

The gateway arch will be placed next to the already built LED sign on Northway and Grange Avenue.

After almost a year of planning a gateway arch has been approved by the Planning Commission and will be placed next to an LED sign, in an effort to bring more visitors to the Village Center.

The commission voted 5-1 Wednesday night to send the Village Board a recommendation for approval of the design; Commissioner Bernard G. Schroedl voting against it.

The arch will be placed on Northway and Grange Avenue next to the new LED sign.

Staff came back with two more rounded designs.

The recommended arch will have the brick piers from the second design (see attached PDFs) and square posts from the first design. The brick will match the brick on the LED sign, and plaques will be placed on the front of the piers reading est. 1938. The commission could not decide on what the back of the sign will read and it will remain blank for the time being.

Grandhaven, LLC, property owners of the Village Center, will pay up to $75,000 for the arch. The Village of Greendale will take care of the remaining costs.

Schroedl objected to the arch because he said that the LED sign should have been reviewed with the arch. He also said having two signs with the same purpose next to each other was a waste of money.

“What we have to do is have the business people in the Village advertise and stay open long hours than what they are staying open,” said Schroedl. “That’s what brings people down.  Not an archway. Not an LED sign. None of that. It has to be their responsibility as business people… they have to be the ones to advertise and spend their money. Not taxpayer money.”

Commissioners Barbara Myers and Jane Kerwin also expressed objection to the already built LED sign, but supported the arch gateway. Both believe the arch is needed to bring people in.

Village President John Hermes, who from the beginning was against the LED sign, said the LED sign was water under the bridge. Hermes said it was the commission’s job to approve the "best possible archway we can live with for the next 100 years.”

, said Village Manager Todd Michaels. Around the same time staff proposed the  Instead some trustees thought it would be better to place the LED sign on the intersection of Northway and Grange Avenue. The LED sign was then approved in March without approval of the gateway arch or referring it to the Planning Commission.

The Village Board will review the arch on July 17. 

Dawn M. Doberstein July 12, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Move the LED sign buy the police station, then put up the arch. That entrance goes directly to downtown Greendale.
pooksilby July 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM
They want it by the intersection with Southridge, so people from the mall will come see us.
Jason Dembosky July 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM
"Grandhaven, LLC, property owners of the Village Center, will pay up to $75,000 for the arch. The Village of Greendale will take care of the remaining costs." What is the total projected cost of the project? I think we Greendalers are sick of our taxes going up every year.
Greendale Citizen July 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I agree with Mr. Schroedl. The village businesses competition is outside the confines of the village. The business owners need a new business plan, not an archway to bring in business. Try hours that are conducive with consumers schedules. You want to own a business but not have the business open anytime after 5 or on Sundays. Businesses that are successful are open 7 days a week, for hours much longer than what these are open for now.
Bren July 12, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Greendale needs brand, business, and historic restoration plans. How much was the LED sign-$15,000? And the arch at $75,000? What a waste of money. Now the LED sign announces activities too. It looks unbelievably tacky. Did the original blueprints call for an ugly metal arch and LED sign? No. I believe the designers were trying to create a beautiful garden community. Please stop and hire a professional firm to come up with a plan. Take the time to do this right! You are the stewards of a unique piece of American history and everything you are doing to-date is wrong.
Carol July 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Sounds like Mr. Schroedel isn't happy with anything the Village does!!!
Nicki July 12, 2012 at 04:10 PM
There were three companies who submitted archway plans. Which one came up with the modified one? I wish at least that we'd find out more about these things. Personally, I think the LED sign is not that bad and moving it to the safety center would be a good idea except for the idea that people going in and out of the mall on Grange will see it at the West end of Northway.
Evonne Zalewski July 12, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Agreed! We are GREEN-dale. Recruit businesses that support the image. Businesses such as Beans and Barley, Outpost Co-op, Alterra, a Bike Shop, Milaegers. These businesses attract patrons from all over the area. Connect the Village Center to the Oak Leaf Bike Trail and promote the Village as a place to stop and refesh. Brand the Village as the GREEN center of the State. Sponsor events that encourage green activity. It can be unique AND profitable. No one has done it, but someone will and our opportunity will be lost. Some vision and a plan, rather than piecemeal reactions are what's needed
jeff ircink July 12, 2012 at 10:17 PM
@carol - Mr. Schroedl isn't happy because the board is either not sending things to the planning commission OR not taking the planning commission's recommendations to heart. look at the placement of the arch - now look at the LED sign. right next to each other???? please. and thank God for people like Mr. Schroedl who grew up in Greendale, was president of the Village for 14 years and has the experience to bring to the planning commission so that Greendale stays true to its roots.
Jason Dembosky July 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I think I have to agree with a lot of the comments regarding the location of the sign. I bet you 50X more people would see that sign while they're sitting at SB 60th & Grange waiting for the green arrow. I'm not too terribly concerned about the archway, but I don't want to pocket money for something that I already know isn't open when I get home from work (yes, there are a few places open later...) I think some of us are to blame for not voicing our concerns when this sign was first brought up. I'm sure some people did speak up. Off-topic, but I just noticed that the land for the Ambruster soccer field is up for sale. Did I miss something in the meeting agendas? I think it's labeled for commercial use.
Robert Redford July 13, 2012 at 01:03 AM
All I will say is a sign or an archway won't bring business to Broad Street. Vibrant, desirable businesses will. Besides, it isn't the Village Boards job to do this, it is private enterprise. Or, lets TIF Broad Street and bring in new businesses local residents and visitors want to spend money at. I see a fools errand here by a Village Board that doesn't have an economic development plan.
Piggy Bank July 14, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Piggy Bank July 14, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I agree with most everything said about the LED sign (terrible), businesses (undesireable, poor hours of operation), the arch (not going to make me shop there) and the anger towards the Village Board on this and a rash of other recent decisions. However, the type of government we have in Greendale is headed by a Village Manager that oversees the day to day operations and makes recommendations to the elected officials. So, while much has been directed at the Village Board (appropriate), it appears that the Village Manager should be held accountable for this scattered approach to what we are made to believe is economic development. What do a Walmart, Southridge facelift, LED sign and gateway arch have in common? Nothing. While the board is responsible for action the manager is responsible for these recommendations. So, if your going to throw out the board don't forget the day to day person.
Carol July 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I agree with Dawn. Most traffic comes down Loomis Road from the freeway, and is a busier intersection so more people would see it. Has this been thought about? Probably too late to change since the sign is already in place.
Greendale Original resident July 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Great ideas, Evonne! Maybe suggest them to the Village Manager and the Village Board to pursue. Those places would bring people to the Village...and to Southridge, so a double win. And for Southridge, how about more stores for women to shop at, like Dress Barn, Coldwater Creek, White House Black Market, etc....not just shoes and kids' stores!!


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