The Walmart superstore proposed for 1000 Skokie Blvd. in Northbrook could bring 300 new jobs to the area, a company representative said at this week's Plan Commission meeting that addressed the big box retailer's plans for the North Shore.
"We would hire about 300 people, permanent jobs, and the majority of those jobs would be full-time," said John Bisio, Wal-Mart's director of public affairs and government relations. "Our average hourly wage is around $13.60."
Northbrook's Plan Commission held one of its longest meetings ever on Tuesday, as village staff and representatives for Walmart discussed the logistics of the new store.
There was no public input at the meeting, but two additional meetings have been scheduled for Sept. 9 and Sept. 23 at Glenbrook North High School specifically for public input and questions.
Sign up for the Northbrook Patch morning newsletter to get the latest local business updates in your email. "Like" us on Facebook to see the top stories in your news feed."This proposed Walmart store is one of our largest scale Walmart stores," Bisio said of the 150,00 square foot retailer that would sit on a 13-acre site.
A representative for the property owner addressed the plan commission as well, and explained the difficult history of finding a buyer for the site between the highway and forest area in east Northbrook.
According to Michael Tepper, who spoke on behalf of the owner of 1000 Skokie Blvd., Walmart could be the "only economically viable and reasonable use for 1000 Skokie Blvd."
"It's not gone well for almost a decade," Tepper said of the site. "Despite a significant number of inquiry ,no one has stepped forward and expressed a willingness to proceed. That is, until now with Walmart."
According to village staff, who prepared a report certain site-specific logistics for the proposed Walmart, the store would likely bring an increase of retail theft reports to village police, but probably won't affect crime in the surrounding area.
"Based on experience with other communities, the [police] department is projecting approximately 200 calls annually and 50 percent of those coming from retail theft issues or traffic accident related issues," said David Schoon, assistant director of the Development and Planning Services Department.
"Based upon available research and interviews with police in other communities, the police department has found no reliable evidence to establish a correlation or causation between the presence of a Walmart store and increased crime in surrounding neighborhood," Schoon said.
Schoon said the Walmart or an office complex would bring increased traffic to Skokie Boulevard, but traffic patterns would be different depending on the site's use.
"In the a.m. period, Walmart would have less traffic than an office development," Schoon said. "During the the p.m. period, as well as Saturdays, there would be more traffic from the Walmart development."
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