Trustees Worry About Construction Timing of Proposed Arch

Some trustees are worried the proposed gateway arch will be bounced in between groups delaying its eventual construction.

Some trustees are worried construction of the proposed gateway arch will be bounced in between groups and delayed, after the Planning Commission sent designs back to staff last week. 


A rectangular arch would cost $115,000, half of which will be paid by Grandhaven, LLC., landlords to the Village Center shops. The idea originated with discussion between village officials and downtown business owners last June. 

Many are hoping to have the sign done in time for Greendale’s 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2013. Village Manager Todd Michaels said, upon Village Board approval construction of the arch could take up to 3 months to complete. All construction stops during the wintertime. 

The board worked with staff to complete three final designs on February 21. The designs were then referred to the Planning Commission on April 17.

“We’ve had a number of different opportunities on the arch and we selected one that we thought was tasteful and economical,” said Trustee Allan Sikorski. “Now we are taking this and throwing back it in the mix to relook at it again, which we have already done. The same thing happened to the LED sign. It’s going to be there for a specific reason — to get people’s attention.”

The arch might be built next to , which Village President John Hermes has spoken against several times. 

Hermes, one of the commissioners to send the arch to staff, said, “It’s going to be there for 100 years or more. I think every community member and resident wants to be proud of this thing. I don’t want to rush through this.”

Trustee Carl Genz agreed with Hermes and suggested incorporating two alternate designs and getting costs. It is not known yet what the cost will be for a rounded design. Michaels said the cost will probably be higher because the current design uses standard traffic signal poles, while a rounded arch would need custom-made supports.

At the Planning Commission meeting Roy Reiman, owner of Grandhaven LCC. and founder of Reiman Publications, suggested setting up a $1,000 engineering design contest for students in area schools as a way to cut costs. Michaels said staff is exploring the idea.

Trustee Ron Barbian emphasized that the LED sign and arch are meant to draw people to events such as the Open market, Fourth of July and Gazebo concerts.

In regards to the LED sign Barbian said, “It kind of got lost that it’s taking away the historic nature, no it isn’t. It’s right across the street from a retail area that’s developing. It’s bringing new traffic down here to hopefully re-energize the Village.”

Trustee Jim Birmingham, also owner of , said, “We have thrown millions on TIFs to Southridge. Lets not forget that although we appreciate the sign... we would like to come to conversation with opportunities that the Village can help us.”

Hermes,, said that his intent is to start a community discussion about the future of the Village Center.

Dave Bauer May 17, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I think it is a shame that a sign company who is doing thousands of dollars of work for Greendale, and has the owner living in Greendale doesn't know enough about Greendale to know it is a Village not a city as the show on the plan
Dr, Deb Harding May 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
pooksilby May 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM
You might as well have the Liberty Tax guy stand on the corner and wave people in!
designerconcerns May 18, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Bren, well put. You are right on track. We need to engage design professionals and let them do their job.
Dennis Towle, Jr. May 19, 2012 at 01:21 AM
This whole arch design and construction is like putting the cart before the horse! You really need to establish a direction before you begin to assemble the parts. The whole area needs to be re-branded, and a concise development plan designed and implemented. For the cost of this arch, a dynamic and forward thinking marketing firm could be setting up some guidelines for the future of this historic area. Do that first before you decide to spruce up the outside!


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