If eventually approved, Grafton Commons North would be
built on an empty lot north of Ulta Beauty, Pier 1
Imports and Costco.
News Graphic file photo
GRAFTON — The Grafton Commons North project will be back
before the Grafton Plan Commission tonight, six months
after the developer withdrew its original proposal prior
to the village’s review.
Continental Properties told village officials at the
time that they backed out to make improvements to their
concept plans and provide the most complete documents
plans submitted for tonight’s meeting, however, look
nearly identical to the first submission. They show two
buildings on the 16.99-acre lot north of Costco on Port
Washington Road. One building would contain three retail
spaces of 5,000, 9,000 and 55,000 square feet each. The
55,000-square-foot space is similar to the size of Best
Buy and Michaels combined. Village Planner Jessica Wolff
said at the time that the size would indicate a national
plan also includes an outlot between Port Washington
the main building, 55,000-square-foot
old plan, submitted in July 2017 then pulled from the
agenda at the last minute, included the same three
tenant-building and a 3,068-squarefoot outlot building
with a drive-thru.
only visible changes between the two concept plans are a
slight resizing and an adjustment in placement of the
second building and orientation on the concept plan.
There is also a small adjustment to an access drive
between Costco and Grafton Commons North.
Continental Properties Development Director Joe Berkhahn,
who has been the village’s contact on the project, said
in October that Continental has a national retailer for
the largest space, but no name has ever been shared on
the prospective tenant. He did not return calls for
comment from the News Graphic.
Berkhahn also said in October that Continental
withdrawing their proposal “was really just to clean up
the plan, so we could make it better under the current
the time, the village of Grafton Plan Commission was
discussing possible changes to the comprehensive plan,
expanding zoning options and potential development
types, which Commission discussions indicated was
triggered by Continental’s withdrawal.
Multiple commissions voted against changes after that,
citing Continental as a reason because they felt the
rules should not be changed while a developer was in the
midst of planning.
Other documents submitted by Continental for Grafton
Commons North are the same as what was used six months
ago; the same documents were resubmitted, including
original dates and timeline, without any alteration. For
example, the plan of operation submitted for tonight’s
concept review indicated construction was to start last
staff report from Wolff reiterates a variety of concerns
about the plan that are the same now as they were last
summer. Her report states that the development does not
include enough parking to meet village regulations,
there is concern about fire access on two sides of the
main building location and none of the tenants for
Grafton Commons North have been named.
During the first go-around, Wolff indicated Continental
would have to name at least two tenants, including the
tenant of the 55,000-square-foot space, before final
approval could be obtained.
<<EARLIER: Another ‘national retailer’ likely headed to