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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.

Bob McBride August 21, 2012 at 02:06 PM
There is ground level parking in the parking structure now. Just it used it yesterday. The walk from the parking structure to the door isn't all that much greater than it was from certain parts of the old lot.
Anne August 21, 2012 at 02:19 PM
It's too off-putting to get there. It's just not worth it. I think of this monster under construction as the 10-pound pig in a 5-pound bag.
Jenny Heyden August 21, 2012 at 02:21 PM
How much did Sendik's get from the village in free money again? And how is a person with physical limitations to gauge the distance across the yellow-striped "no" zone to the dark lot behind it? If it's a risk, I think most say no thanks. Just wondering. This was all buttoned up before construction started. Any attempt to ask questions at a cda or other meeting is ridiculous, like trying to have a normal conversation on Patch.
Absolutelyfabulous August 21, 2012 at 02:44 PM
You've got to be kidding me! You were GIVEN $200,000 + a $150,000 low/no interest loan for a nice period of time. Oh, BTW..this is just a foreshadow of things to come when Metro Market opens up next door. I got a kick out of seeing the parking structure when I drove by as I headed to Pick N Save. Never going to happen that I am going to park further away than I did before to shop at Sendik's in Shorewood when it's drive up and enter on ground level and near/adjacent to the front door in Whitefish Bay as well as having better prices/selection. BTW..Maybe people have also stopped shopping because they discovered how good Sendik's WFB is in comparison and can easily make the trip over there on their way to Bayshore or when in the neighborhood. ________________________ Though, I'm sure the extra level added onto the parking structure to bring the height to 6 stories at an additional cost of $1,000,000 to the taxpayers of Shorewood will definitely add to the sales price of Sendik's building in Shorewood when you go out of business. Everything has been orchestrated, just as it is in the process of happening in WFB. Who pocketed the $200,000 that was given to you free & clear? You, the owners of Sendik's or the Balistreri's who own the building that Sendiks operates out of in Shorewood. If the owners/landlords of the building received the $$$, then they should have discounted your rent in accordance w/ the free gift bestowed upon them by the decision makers.
Todd Ruehmer August 21, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Nehring could probably take a cue from Whole Foods on the Eastside, and post some brightly-colored signs near the parking entrance that distinctly tell patrons where parking is.
N. Peske August 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I always walked or biked to Sendiks to pick up fresh produce so parking hasn't been an issue--but I'm with you. The produce quality & price has dropped.
Shorewood Mom August 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I'm in complete agreement. The whole attraction for living in Shorewood is the "mom and pop" places. Easy parking. Slide right in. I have not shopped at Sendiks either since the new parking became available. I do not like the idea of an apartment building (or condos) replacing easy parking. I love what has happened up the road on Oakland where the mobile station and the empty lots are being developed upon. But to take away the charm of a small village such as Shorewood is really sad. I like to see development and growth but not at the expense of a useful parking lot such as the one that no longer exists.
Shorewood Mom August 21, 2012 at 03:19 PM
It appears, according to @absolutelyfabulous, that they were given $200,000 plus a low/no interest loan. PLEASE! To lay off employees because of this? Seriously? I hate to say it, but Nehring's best get a grip. Pretty much everything in that particular Sendik's is over-priced. The Outpost, known for higher prices, is actually more affordable. When I read that Nehring's received that money from Shorewood and yet has the audacity to complain about a drop in revenue.... seriously. I think that is the last straw. Sendik's WFB is definitely my go-to Sendiks in the area.
Chuck Cronan August 21, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I had a negative comment about the loss of easy access. However, it was my understanding that there will be underground parking in the new building, possibly ground floor, that is supposed to give back the surface lot spaces that used to be there. The project drawing has not shown that detail. If someone knows the "truth", please post.
Chuck Cronan August 21, 2012 at 03:59 PM
From the story, it sounds like the surface spaces will return, Those likely would be protected from inclement weather.
Bob McBride August 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM
If the whole attraction is the "mom and pop" places, how are you supporting that by not shopping at Sendiks because you currently have to walk a little farther than you did before?
Absolutelyfabulous August 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Shorewood Mom- Here's the JS article Tom Daykin did on all of the monies given to Sendiks. http://www.jsonline.com/business/village-to-help-remodel-store-5c340oq-134158743.html They released this info. to the public after everything was agreed upon and never include these hundreds of thousands of dollars along w/ the extra $1,000,000 that was added onto Shorewoods cost for Mandel's project. BTW...THIS IS GOOD...1 Time a year, Outpost Foods has a Truckload Sale. This year, it will be spread out over the month of September, though no info. as of yet. Certain items are able to be purchased Wholesale or deeply discounted. Though, in the case of Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, you have to buy by the case. What normally costs $2.99-3.99 in the store for a 28 oz can of Whole Peeled/Plum Tomatoes costs $1.50 per can via a case. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 3L(3 qt 5.4 fl oz) The biggest one on the shelves. Normally, $35-48 around town. $20 past 2 years at the truckload sale. Keep an eye out because it is definitely worth it, even if just for a few items to stock up on.
David Tatarowicz August 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I like to patronize local stores as much as possible, but there are specialty stores that have what you cannot find in Shorewood -- or better at lower costs. For Produce Pete's at 15th and Greenfield is the best. Meat selection of All Kinds would be El Rey's store on 16th about a block south of National. For cold cuts and sausage A&J Polish Deli on 13th and Lincoln. They also have the best Health Bread if you are watching if you are watching your carbs and insulin levels --- Real Whole Grain ........... That new store on 27th Cermaks that just opened a branch here (from Chicago) has the worst wurst --- all of their homemade sausages have the same poor consistency and just different spices. Their produce is is ok, but Pete's is better as well as El Rey's. For basics Aldi's is always a bargain and shopping the Pig has some advantages too --- but I don't see many Shorewood people frequenting those.
Absolutelyfabulous August 21, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Adam- This is a question for you or Jeff Rumag over in WFB. Are there any agreements in place to financially benefit any/all of the businesses that will be affected just like Sendiks is in Shorewood when Mandel initiates his taxpayer subsidized luxury apartment development in that neighborhood. Mandel has stated that spaces will be kept open during construction. Hmm, is that what happened/is happening in Shorewood and that doesn't seem to be helping the situation. In the end, Fitzgerald's and Ruhamas will benefit w/ higher assessed valuations, but they will be hammered during construction as traffic will find other places ie Walgreens/Ye Olde Pharmacy over on Pt Washington across from Kopps to get necessities. It's just a matter of will they ever return. So, why not do as they did in Shorewood. Get the village of WFB to fund/compensate them on the front end w/$$$ to ease the pain/loss of business that will happen during construction and gain on the backside when the sell out w/ the ability to make a bigger profit. That's what's going to happen w/ the Sendik's in Shorewood eventually. Though, this has all been thought out.
Lyle Ruble August 21, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Sendeks Shorewood has, in the last decade, become a poor value. I don't mind spending more to get better quality, but the produce quality has plummeted and the prices have remained high. It's time Nehrings got the message, put back the quality or find another location.
EmpthyCursed August 22, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Wow..they got all that cash and still can't take a quest card. We shall see what happens when they themselves run into that issue.
Vicki Bennett August 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I once saw a truck with the "Piggly Wiggly" insignia pulled up to the loading dock at Sendiks. I can just go shop at "Piggly Wiggly" and pay less if I want their products. That aside, I really like Sendik's meat department. At least I don't get a big piece of fat hidden on the downside of the package the way I do at another unnamed Shorewood grocery store. I also don't get told that the products that disappear off the shelf are gone because of the other store's big "RESET." I don't want to see Sendik's leave as I also love their flowers and bakery products. The new school year hasn't started yet. When it does, I'm sure the students will flock to Sendik's deli counter again. The inconvenience of the parking lot shouldn't keep us from shopping there. Come on folks, let's keep our economy running here in Shorewood.
David Tatarowicz August 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
@Vicki If you want quality meat and service at good prices --- El Rey's on 16th just about a block south of National --- also their bakery is very extensive and they have really good produce, and items you won't find at other stores .............. I am so happy our kids in Shorewood can afford Sendiks deli counter for lunch --- guess their parents don't see a need for them to brown bag, or maybe that would be the wrong image for them !
David Tatarowicz August 22, 2012 at 05:11 PM
BTW -- speaking of produce -- my wife has us up to our eyeballs in fresh produce, it is amazing what she has grown in a her vegetable garden (4 raised beds approx 4 x 8 each) --- she has tomato plants over 6 feet high, and has put up about 20 jars of bread and butter pickles already --- of course, the beans, peppers, squash, cauliflower, etc. ................... this time of year the best produce can be from your own garden
Absolutelyfabulous August 22, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Dave- News bulletin: Sendik's isn't the only destination for kids on lunch. 2nd, who cares where a person eats and how often and what it costs them. A kid can easily spend $5 at Sendik's on one of their Panini sandwiches as they could for fries, drink & burger @ Culvers. For some reason a common thread from you is an "us against them". You've got the all too commonly utilized Westies vs the East of Oakland residents. Today it's the kids who patronize Sendik's vs those who brown bag. How does ones "image" come into play when choosing lunch? I don't want to get into an argument w/ you but, seriously let go of the constant "us vs them" themes that you always insert. If the kids were stealing the food it might be a different matter. They are making a choice and have the ability to pay for that option. Not a big deal.
Cricket August 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM
That's kind of disconcerting that a piggly wiggly truck was there. Hmmm. I wonder what products they were delivering. I really like Sendiks but must admit that the construction has been challenging. I have not had a problem with their produce and do love the meat and bakery. Definitely worth paying a little extra for and the quality of the meat can't be beat. I have been going to wfb sendiks recently mostly because of a particular product I can't find anywhere else. It too is a nice store and prices seem a little better but I don't like running the gauntlet of women chatting it up and the end of the isles or in front of the meat counter. Have encountered the same problem at the Mequon Sendiks as well. I have nothing against chatting in the store but ladies, please, be aware of your surrounds and move out of the way!
Bob McBride August 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Piggly Wiggly distributes some of the run-of-the-mill stuff and the cheaper "house brand" items to smaller stores (of which there are very few at this point, obviously). One of the other, non-related Sendik's uses them as well, I believe.
David Tatarowicz August 23, 2012 at 03:51 PM
@Ab Fab Regarding your comment "For some reason a common thread from you is an "us against them". You've got the all too commonly utilized Westies vs the East of Oakland residents. Today it's the kids who patronize Sendik's vs those who brown bag. How does ones "image" come into play when choosing lunch? I don't want to get into an argument w/ you but, seriously let go of the constant "us vs them" themes that you always insert. " You have jumped to a conclusion about my reference to kids spending big money at Sendik's as being a Class Issue within Shorewood --- No it is not an Eastie - Westie thing --- it is a PARENT thing. We have a kid in SHS and yes our kid would be very happy to get a lot of money for lunch and eat gourmet --- but that would be doing a dis-service to our kid! Not to say that an occasional treat at Subway or even Sendiks isn't ok, but not on a daily basis. Our kid eats primarily in the school cafeteria, and does do some brown bagging, and does have the occasional treat. We are trying to teach our kid the real world After the parents have supported them and they are on their own. Proud to say, that we sent ours to NYC for a week for a sixteenth birthday present -- and our kid and a friend were basically on their own there, staying over at three different relatives and friends, but basically budgeting tightly for food and amazingly scoring tickets to 5 Broadway Shows. About 50-5o our money and the kids'
Absolutelyfabulous August 23, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Dave- No one cares what your kid eats for lunch and where as well as anyone elses kid for that matter. You "real world" is not everyone else's "real world" What you can/cannot afford only applies to you. It's all relative. Maybe eating out every day is a disservice to your kid. Doesn't mean that's the same for anyone else? How is buying lunch off campus every day a disservice to a kid? You have no idea where/how they obtained their money. Other kids may have jobs that they use the money they earned to buy/supplement/upgrade their lunches with. Also, if they get $$ every day/week or whatever from their parents for whatever reasons, who cares. I would think that grades/character/behavior would matter more in giving some insight as to whether a person will be productive later in life over buying lunch off campus every day. To each his own Dave. You do what you gotta do w/ your kids/family and everyone else will do their own thing as well, even if it's eating off campus every day. _____________________ I remember my brother telling me that one of his best friends in high school, Shorewood, would have access to a drawer in his parents house that was literally stocked/filled w/ $20 bills that they could use anytime for anything the kids wanted. The grandparents were loaded and the parents were professors. I know the youngest went to Stanford. To each his own Dave. That's all that matters.
David Tatarowicz August 23, 2012 at 06:26 PM
@Ab Fab I hope all those kids with the drawer full of twenties have been able to make it in the real world. That they haven't gotten degrees that do not pay for a lifestyle that they learned growing up and can no longer have. Yes Ab Fab there is a "Real" world, and it is not kids with drawers full of twenties. I see those kids from the "Unreal" world all the time -- they are often the ones who are paralyzed with depression from not knowing how to cope when it is not done for them. They are often the drug addicts and alcoholics who are thrown into a world where something is expected of them --- and they never had that before. They are the ones with the good degrees and good jobs that are let go when they are 48 and don't have a clue how to scrabble for a job in a tough market when it is not given to them. 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 --- I also grew up with kids whose parents were incredibly rich and they wanted for nothing --- but their parents taught them the difference between their good fortune and how not everyone is blessed with that ............. one friend grew up a multi millionaire and still is one, and yet every week he takes time to serve the homeless at soup kitchens, and chaperon kids on field trips. He and his wife both "get it" because they were Taught It. That's what really matters.
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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