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Sendik's Sales Shrinking As Mandel Group Development Takes Root

Despite a new two-story parking structure behind the Shorewood grocery store available to customers, owner John Nehring says business has waned as a six-story apartment and retail development sprouts in his parking lot.

As a new apartment and retail development takes root in its parking lot, has seen sales wane.

"It has affected business, there's no doubt about it," said John Nehring, who co-owns the independent store with his wife Anne.

A two-story parking structure constructed behind the grocery store — — was supposed to help. But Nerhing said he saw a slight drop in business — somewhere between 5 to 10 percent — at that point.

Then when construction moved to his parking lot at 4027 N. Oakland Ave., traffic into the store declined even more, though he couldn’t put a figure on the drop. Nehring said the transition just hasn't been as smooth as he thought it would be.

"Certain days fill a little better," he said. "Change is always hard, but at this point, the change was a little bit too hard, too fast."

opened on July 24, but with exterior construction work continuing through August, "there may be temporary changes of traffic flow and signage during this interim time to allow for the work to be completed," according to a map distributed by the village.

Mandel has been helpful

Nehring said Mandel Group has been wary of parking problems during construction, doing what it can to ease the burden on local businesses.

"Mandel has been awesome," Nehring said. "They have been helping as much as they can, getting signage up."

Nehring said he's working with the Mandel group on a marketing campaign, directing deals at Shorewood and Whitefish Bay residents. Sendik's has also started home delivery, trying to cater to some of the grocery store's older clientele whom Nehring said are apprehensive about navigating the construction surrounding the store. There's a $25 order minimum and delivery is free for Shorewood and Whitefish Bay residents.

The Nehrings have been supportive of the project in their parking lot from the beginning, but said early they knew it could harm business.

“Every way, shape and form, I really want to try to get this done, because I do think it’s a positive thing for the village," Nehring told the Milwaukee Business Journal in March 2011. At the time, he estimated business could fall as much as 40 percent.

Meanwhile, Nehring said he has run into a few snags with , but that they should be complete within two to three months, along with a new entrance to the west near the parking structure.

"It will be really nice," he said. "I think customers will really like some of the new changes."

Staffing cuts possible

Despite his upbeat attitude, Nehring said if business continues to slide, staffing is where he'll make cuts to offset loss of revenue.

"We are going to survive, but what will happen is we will lose a lot of employees," he said. "And, when March comes around and the parking lot opens up and business picks up, I'm going to need to hire more people. We would probably lose some good people."

No problems for Oakcrest Tavern

Sendik's parking lot served a slew of businesses on the North Oakland Avenue block. Signs signaling motorists to take advantage of the parking structure have been posted in the windows of nearby businesses like , which is across the street from Sendik's.

Over there, manager Andy Frasier said he figured he would see the bottom line slump and customers avoid patronizing his bar and restaurant because of parking issues, but it has been business as usual.

"I don't know if people just got used to it quickly, but we haven't been affected by it," he said. "We had a little problem with parking for a minute, but it was nothing more than a blip on the radar."

Construction is expected to wrap up in March, when will move across the street from its current location at 4081 N. Oakland Ave. and surface parking will open. Everything will be completed, including the apartments, in August.

Absolutelyfabulous August 23, 2012 at 06:55 PM
You always take everything and skew it. Having $$$ available at ones disposal doesn't mean that the person "doesn't get it". "They are the ones whose parents were too lazy to teach them the realities of life --- easier just to give them a twenty and send them out " Really Dave- I never knew Stanford was so easy to get into. The problem is you can't accept the realities of life or are bitter towards those who "Have" and are able or choose to do things differently than you. West of Oakland residents Vs East of Oakland, Brown Baggers vs Take out. It's always something.
David Tatarowicz August 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Ab Fab --- I know the realities of life --- and I certainly do not consider myself someone who doesn't "have" --- I just don't take having what I have for granted, and make sure my kids don't either ...... and I hope that they will always remember the "don't haves" and know that luck is the most important factor in that situation --- after all, when you are one of the few of the world's population born in the United States or similar countries you already won the lottery!
Absolutelyfabulous August 24, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Agree w/ you on that Dave. For those who are fortunate enough to travel and off the beaten track, one soon realizes how good they have it and if they don't have the means to travel abroad, all you have to do is zig zag your way through the inner city of good old Milwaukee to see how difficult life can be for what may only be slice of Milwaukee's population, but is reality for a majority of the world.
Absolutelyfabulous August 24, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Mauijade- What personal attacks? How about a very colorful difference of opinion. Really not a big deal. BTW, what is the issue confronting Shorewood? Sendik's has seen a dramatic downturn in business during the construction of Mandel's luxury development next door and Sendik's was also very generously compensated to the tune of $200,000 free & clear and an additional $150,000 low/no interest loan for remodeling purposes. I think one needs to go back ~ 10 years or so and see how things have played out or what could be viewed as a Tale of 2 Sendik's. Nehrings & WFB/Mequon faction. Nehrings bought into Shorewood Sendiks ~10 years ago and at that time there were maybe 2 locations owned by the Balistreri of WFB group. In the decade since, the WFB group has expanded to 13-14 locations, extensively remodeled WFB and have kept it "clean" so to speak. Nehrings, on the other hand, while trying their hand at numerous ventures have been all over the board and bit the hand that fed them more ways than 1. They've started 4 other businesses on Oakland that have all disappeared. V Richards in Brookfield went out of business or they sold that. Their prices are higher and they have treated some long time employees pretty terrible in swiftly showing them the door in favor of cheaper/younger workers to save on the bottom line. They've been accused of selling expired meats as well as stolen merchandise where the witness in the case just disappeared. There may indeed be Karma.
Absolutelyfabulous August 24, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Mauijade- What personal attacks? How about a very colorful difference of opinion. Really not a big deal. BTW, what is the issue confronting Shorewood? Sendik's has seen a dramatic downturn in business during the construction of Mandel's luxury development next door and Sendik's was also very generously compensated to the tune of $200,000 free & clear and an additional $150,000 low/no interest loan for remodeling purposes. I think one needs to go back ~ 10 years or so and see how things have played out or what could be viewed as a Tale of 2 Sendik's. Nehrings & WFB faction. Nehrings bought into Shorewood Sendiks ~10 years ago and at that time there were maybe 2 locations owned by the Balistreri of WFB group. In the decade since, the WFB group has expanded to 13-14 locations, extensively remodeled WFB and Mequon. Nehrings, while trying their hand at numerous ventures, have been all over the board. They've started 4 other businesses on Oakland that have all disappeared. V Richards in Brookfield went out of business or they sold that. Their prices are higher than any of the Sendik's. They've been accused of selling stolen merchandise and the Co-conspiritor/key witness in the case just disappeared before trial. "V. Richards Market owner, produce manager face stolen property charges" http://www.jsonline.com/news/waukesha/29528634.html V. Richards owner to challenge charge of buying stolen produce http://www.jsonline.com/news/waukesha/29438169.html

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