Meijer construction begins
Specifics on plans to open store will be announced about six weeks ahead of time

By Dave Fidlin - News Graphic Correspondent

June 26, 2014

Construction work has gotten under way for a planned Meijer store on the east side of
Port Washington Road in Grafton. 

Photo by Mark Justesen

GRAFTON — Nearly two years ago, Grafton officials approved plans for a big box Meijer grocery store at one of the village’s most highly visible retail spots. The heavy lifting has officially begun on those plans.

Early this month, construction of the 190,000-square-foot store began on a 33-acre property on the east side of Port Washington Road and Hunters Lane, near the Interstate 43 corridor.

From the municipal standpoint, Meijer’s plans are in order, and village officials have given the company the green light to proceed with construction.

“They paid for their building permits,” Village Administrator Darrell Hofland confirmed in an email.

Frank Guglielmi, senior director of communications with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer, said the company’s plans for a 2015 opening in Grafton are on track. He declined to specify a targeted opening date, however.

“We’ll be announcing specifics on the opening date and ribbon cutting about six weeks prior to the actual opening date,” Guglielmi said.

The Grafton store will include a gas station on an outlot in front of the big box building. Guglielmi said the separate building will begin operations about a month before the actual store begins operations.

Meijer plans to employ between 250 and 300 people on a part- and fulltime basis at the Grafton store.

“We’ll begin hiring approximately three months prior to the store opening,” Guglielmi said.

The Grafton store is one of more than a half-dozen spots announced as Meijer, a longtime staple in Michigan, makes its foray into the crowded Milwaukee-area grocery market.

In addition to Grafton, Meijer anticipates opening stores next year in Kenosha, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa. In 2016, stores are slated to open in Greenfield, Janesville, Sussex and Waukesha.

Speaking at a business leaders luncheon in March, Hank Meijer, coCEO, said the company plans to open between 10 and a dozen new stores each year after the initial roll-out in 2016 is completed.

Meijer currently has a presence in five states, with more than 200 stores in operation. In addition to Michigan, the retailer is located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Hank Meijer said most of the company’s growth plans, moving forward, are focused in Wisconsin.