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wolverine

Walmart with underground parking

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Well, the small tourist destination of Frankenmuth appears to be at war with a Wal-Mart that wants to come to town. This is not surprising for a community that has remained die-hard against sprawl. I don't have any facts because I don't have access to thier newspaper and only see blurbs in the Saginaw News, but apparently the Wal-Mart would feature underground parking since the city has limitations on surface parking of new structures. I'd be interested to see if anything comes out of this. I wonder if the city planning commision their could confirm this. Currently a new hotel is going up in Frankenmuth that will have all their parking underground as well.

If we can't fight the proliferation of big box shopping, we might as well see an improvement in the way these places look.

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Wal mart is pure evil.

watch out Frankenmuth, they are going to start selling fried chicken and noodles.

I'm sure they will have a year round christmas section too!

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I hate to jump on the anti Wal Mart thing, but they really are pretty bad. But I do shop there, only for certain (brand name) groceries that are so much cheaper than anywhere else it's ridiculous, other than that I pretty much stick to Meijer, Kroger and L&L. But underground poarking is a suprising concession from Wal Mart, they must want this store really bad.

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Walmart Frankenmuth Presentation October 2005

The link above leads to a pdf file of a presentation Walmart made in Frankenmuth back in October 2005. It shows the proposed site plan and elevations. I believe this is before the underground parking concept came about.

I'm not sure that Frankenmuth needs a Walmart, but I do think that the proposed elevation design fits well with the Bavarian Village feel of Frankenmuth. And I have to admit, I'm curious about how the underground parking would work.

Also, the Frankenmuth web site had a pdf of their Growth Management Plan....I searched for the words "Walmart" and "Wal-mart". I didn't get a single hit.

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The fake facades are incredibly lame. I'd much rather they be who they are. lol Even a nice brick building would be better than that Disneyesque crap. I know, a harsh critic.

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The fake facades are incredibly lame. I'd much rather they be who they are. lol Even a nice brick building would be better than that Disneyesque crap. I know, a harsh critic.

Hey, Frankenmuth is a tourist town...they celebrate Christmas year round..."Disneyesque" suits it. (And I don't think Disney has a reputation for doing anything bad or losing money...the majority of people/tourists like that kind of stuff.)

And all I meant was as far as Walmarts go, it's one of the more interesting ones I've seen.

Meijer's was doing the big box store with the "small town" facade there for awhile and they looked pretty lame because they just stuck them around randomly in locations that they didn't suit, for example, there's one across from Great Lakes Crossing....why?!?!

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Frankemuth has gone to great lengths to keep their historically accurate facades and old world feel. Wal MArt should be allowed to build some cheap ugly building, that's completely aside from the numerous other issues with Wal Mart.

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You mean "should not" don't you? And, I completely agree. Frankenmuth's other structures are much more authentic than the stucco and fiberglass decorations WalMart is going to put on their facade. I can almost be certain those will be the materials used, and they look incredibly cheap. They'd do much better using a simple red-brick facade and calling it a day than doing a cheap knock off of the real things. Take the one at Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing as an example. It may be sprawl, but they made it look simple, and relatively nice by just using earth tones for the facade as oppossed to their favorite materials: cinderblocks painted white. lol

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I did mean "should not." One thing that I liked about the one at Eastwood is the cement made to look like pavers in front, that adds a little bit of a nice touch.

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I find it funny the presentation states that Wal Mart will provide good-paying jobs....they are the leading emplyer of people getting public assistance in the country.

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I'm sure the will petition, from what I've heard Frankenmuth has fought some pretty petty battles over architecture before, this Wal Mart would be a big deal to them.

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The underground parking would be nice, especially to reduce the sea of treeless parking that usually come with such stores. The facades could certainly be improved, or completely done away with.

*Although, I thought the idea for surrounding a Walmart in real stores with outside entrances was a good idea for an urban area. This setup is currently proposed as part of the reconstruction process in Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Disney facades aren't that bad. Some have a good sense of realism, they're usually only a little "cartoonish"

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Why not just build a decent brick facade then take the chances of building a "Disney" one, which more often than not turn out to be disasters? Maybe it's just me, but I don't have enough faith and trust in the WalMart architects to do anything that won't look cheaply done. lol

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Why not just build a decent brick facade then take the chances of building a "Disney" one, which more often than not turn out to be disasters? Maybe it's just me, but I don't have enough faith and trust in the WalMart architects to do anything that won't look cheaply done. lol

I wasn't saying that they should use fake facades, I was just comenting on the actual Disney facades. Besides, the facades used on Meijer stores didn't really do anything. The one on 28th street in Grand Rapids isn't in an area with a very urban feal and furthermore has a giant parking lot in front of it. In this setting, the storefronts certainly don't give the building any more of a small town or shopping district feel.

(and it looks like Meijer has stopped using that building design)

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There were petitions against it I believe.

Just ten minutes away, Buena Vista, a relatively poor and blighted suburb of Saginaw tried to sway Wal-Mart to come, but the company's officials showed no interest. Their proposed location would have probably called for the demolition of an abandoned indoor shopping mall, but would have excellent freeway access.

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It's been awhile but..

So now I'm hearing two-level Wal-Mart with all of it's parking entirely underground with the building close to the street. I wish there was someone to confirm details like this since it's all word of mouth. I know the underground parking has some validity to it, but multi level?

Keep in mind, underground parking for big box stores is nothing new, especially on the west coast. It's not unusual to find 3 story circuit cities with all their parking underground. Big box stores are more adapted to their urban surroundings out there because they have to fit in such small spaces on valuable land. I'm sure if land wasn't so dirt cheap out here, things would be built a lot differently.

As far as facades, Im working on creating a photo tour of Frankenmuth. There are a fair number of buildings that have brick facades, instead of the traditional Bavarian look. In fact, two of their newest buildings are done entirely in brick, even the backs and have rich cornice details made out of brick and REAL limestone -gasp-! I did a little research on architecture of Bavaria. A lot of their industrial buildings and some commercial ones dont differ too much from some of the early 20 century architecture we have here. The particular architecture featured in Frankenmuths tourist districts is bavarian alpine. So I guess the city is somewhat more relaxed on what gets built from an architectural standpoint, as long as it looks tasteful. IMO, Wal-Mart was trying to give itself an out, becasue they new they could attempt a Disneyesque bavarian facade by throwing up some fiberglass board, and nailing on a few cheap decorations.

BTW, sorry for the lack of apostrophes above. But effing firefox keeps activating the "find" toolbar when I press it.

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a mlti level wal mart?

ive never seen that before.

They call them Urban Walmarts. I think Target has more than Walmart now, and is aggressively looking to expand their Urban Target stores. Usually about 2-3 stories, with escalators with side-mounted shopping cart tracks for your cart. Then they usually have UG parking or rooftop parking. Not a bad way to do a big box.

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The funny thing is, the site for this beast is hardly urban, so urban walmart on what is currently a field will be something very new. It will hopefully set a precedent that big box shopping should not have to occupy the full parcel available. As mentioned, Frankenmuth is very against sprawl, and it will be very interesting to see how this all pans out. Surprisingly, I just don't see why Wal-Mart will just give it up and move to Buena Vista where they can do whatever the hell they want. BV is the pits these days.

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They call them Urban Walmarts. I think Target has more than Walmart now, and is aggressively looking to expand their Urban Target stores. Usually about 2-3 stories, with escalators with side-mounted shopping cart tracks for your cart. Then they usually have UG parking or rooftop parking. Not a bad way to do a big box.

I can see doing the multi-level thing in a more urban setting but not Frankenmuth. The cost for undeground parking would be much more expensive than the surface lot. I have seen Wal-mart install tons of islands with trees in their parking lots break it up a little. I do not know if Frankenmuth would go for that. If Wal-Mart wants something bad enough they will eventually get it.

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you know though, cities of they stick to their guns can hold Walmart at bay. The problem then becomes, that walmart will just cross the street to a willing neighbor township and build a huge sprawling box within arms reach, spiteing the city, and it's codes.

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It's more about having the Wal-Mart in the city though. Frankenmuth is more concerned about it destroying their city character, so it's distant enough from the city limits, I doubt residents will care, just township residents.

An impact study from a Southfield based company said that this would do little to affect the local Frankenmuth economy in a negative way, which is somewhat obvious as the businesses downtown are geared toward the tourism industry, and who goes on vacation just to shop at Wal-Mart.

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