THE BIG MAC ATTACK
“It’s coming through a hole in the sky, from those nights in Tiananmen Square. It’s coming from the feel, that ain’t exactly real, or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.” McDonald’s is coming…even though it’s already here. There’s a full blown McDonald’s located miserably on Wells Street. Miserably, because driving in and out of there is like driving through a Paris roundabout on the silly side of the road. If McDonald’s was to relocate or open another major store on Broad Street then that traffic would be relieved and the downtown would enjoy a huge boost from the number of people who commonly frequent the places, no matter where they are located.
Once the full ramifications are to be studied, however, there are other considerations that must be looked at. The homeowners and renters living in residential homes around the area to be rezoned and developed have to be consulted. The location of the prospective McDonald’s is 716 Marshall Street, right next door to the new Kwik Trip, and not far across the street from Pizza Hut is problematic. Many residents will remember the resistance that same area went through when Kwik Trip was coming in. Kwik Trip, mostly because they have worked to be such a good neighbor, has been a welcome new addition to the area. The small chunk of land they purchased in order to satisfy an existing gas station owner, was offered by them to the city, and also to the chamber of commerce a year ago. Neither the city nor the chamber wanted it, even for free. It was thought that the piece of land, fronting Broad Street, would be much better off being sold and developed for tax revenue return.
McDonald’s is not a shoo-in, however. Actually, Associated Bank, the bank currently located inside the Piggly Wiggly on the north end of town, appears to have submitted the highest bid. In fact, Utah Blaine, Lake Geneva’s ‘gunslinger’ city administrator, said that conditional approval had already been given to the Associated Bank plan. Is the rumor of McDonald’s moving from the outskirts of town to the downtown a false flag operation? Is the fear of a McDonald’s moving into what is still basically a residential neighborhood one of those kinds of things that might be trotted out to make everyone, once Associated is approved, breathe easier and all of a sudden find the opening of a bank not objectionable, compared to a McDonald’s? Why would Associated, now out at Piggly Wiggly where it’s been there for some time, and everyone knows were to find it, not take the old Community Bank building, long abandoned, right next to the Piggly Wiggly parking lot?
Well, that property is a million bucks. The plots on Broad and Marshall are a tiny fraction of that, even though the build in costs would be fairly significant for a bank built from scratch (not as much as the old days because modern banks carry little cash). Candy, the really neat woman who lives across the street from whatever is going to be done with this developing area, came to the Planning Commission meeting and voiced her concerns about the residential nature of the neighborhood where the development is proposed to be built. The commissioners, could not have been kinder or more accommodating to her needs. The architect for the Associated Bank bidders was also in attendance, and he stated that the needs of the residential area would be addressed and met, each one.
Will the commission come through and make sure that this small slice of Lake Geneva becomes a great addition? Unknown at this time, but there appears to be some hope. The Geneva Shore Report will continue to follow this story, as well as look out for the valid interests of the surrounding residents in that community area.