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Urban Edge offers increased options for Suamico residents

The development off of Lineville Road in Suamico known as Urban Edge has seen a lot of change in recent years. Josh Staloch photo

By Josh Staloch

Contributing Writer

SUAMICO – The development off of Lineville Road in Suamico known as Urban Edge has seen a lot of change in recent years.

From becoming host to the village’s first Starbucks to a CP Early Education & Care facility taking root in one of the complex’s largest buildings following the departure of Shopko, Urban Edge has become an integral piece of the village’s retail picture.

The area, being developed by Midwest Expansion Companies, is also a big part of Suamico’s residential growth as Urban Edge is host to several large scale multi-family housing units. 

Recently, Urban Edge has seen the opening of two new restaurants; a Taco Bell, which sits just east of the Festival Foods parking lot and a Pizza Hut, located off of Velp just across the way from Old Mexico Cantina & Grille, another Urban Edge eatery.

In addition to the two new food options, construction has begun on a new Aldi supermarket in what was the open space between CP Early Education & Care and Festival Foods.

The area, being developed by Midwest Expansion Companies, is also a big part of Suamico’s residential growth as Urban Edge is host to several large scale multi-family housing units. Josh Staloch photo

Village President Sky Van Rossum has seen concerns from village residents on social media. Questions like: “Why are we getting another pizza place?”, “Don’t we have enough pizza places already?” and “What are we going to do with two grocery stores  in the same shopping center?” have been going around.

Van Rossum pointed out that village administrators have no control over the names that fill out the list of businesses opening up shop in Urban Edge and added he thinks the development has done a good job of keeping the area vibrant.

“So, Urban Edge is really on its own as far as the businesses it brings in. The village has no control over the businesses it brings in as long as everything fits the development plan and the site plan. Those were two empty spaces that were filled and actually, having those two businesses come in is a pretty novel approach,” Van Rossum said of Taco Bell and Pizza Hut opening. “If you look at the footprint or the history of Urban Edge, it was really sited to be…another big box store was supposed to be located where the new apartments are. Once Shopko went out of business, I have to give credit to (Midwest Expansion) for creating a novel approach to filling that space by bringing in an indoor storage space and also the CP Center They’ve continued to fill the space out.”

Questions about existing businesses and their ability to coexist with new ones remain.

WIll a new Pizza Hut take away business from Gallagher’s, also a tenant at Urban Edge? What about Rustique right down the road?

It makes sense that a family of four, let’s say, looking for a night out at Rustique probably isn’t in the market for what’s happening at the Pizza Hut off of Velp, a smaller restaurant with no dine-in seating and geared for takeout/delivery.

But what if the same family of four is on the fence about where to get that mid-week pizza pie? If an option like Pizza Hut is on the table, do they go with what might be a bit cheaper or quicker than what they could get at Rustique? What about Gallagher’s and how it will now fit into the Suamico restaurant scene with a new player just a few hundred yards away?

The same question can be asked of Festival Foods, which will soon find itself virtually next door to a brand new Aldi to go along with competition from a Piggly Wiggly only a few blocks down LIneville .

Van Rossum said the free market is essentially deciding what is happening with similar businesses showing up in close proximity to each other.

Suamico residents don’t necessarily want to drive into Green Bay for the things they need.

The more they can get done here in the village, the better, and it’s up to places like Urban Edge to provide space for those businesses to come to market.

“I think with Piggly Wiggly, they’re well established and have their own clientele. Festival has an established customer base. And I think Aldi’s is just a little bit different from both of those,” he said. “ When you think about Aldi, they have a pretty devoted following, I don’t think the same folks who go to Aldi are going to go to Festival and, you know what? It’s competition and competition is a good thing for the consumer.”

The village board is happy with how this fits into the overall plan for Suamico going forward.

“I think that keeping that retail area healthy is very important. We don’t have a lot of space. We’re not like Howard,” Van Rossum said. “Howard has a lot of room for business and retail. We just don’t have as much. We’ve got Old Suamico, which has more of an historic flare to it but Urban Edge is our shopping center.”

Van Rossum added that, with so much of the village being wetland and therefore impossible to develop, Suamico is limited when it comes to where clusters of retail can be placed.

Village administrators realize that, as Suamico grows in population, Urban Edge and the immediate surrounding area will be vital, and they are planning accordingly.

Traffic, for example, is one issue that has brought concern from village residents, but Van Rossum believes improvements to Lineville Road will allow the retail area to grow comfortably along with the village’s population.

“I think it’s all going to work itself out because of the redevelopment of Lineville, which is coming up in the next couple of years. It’s going to be four lanes” he said. “That whole area though has just been, when you look at the other side of Lineville, over by the Piggly Wiggly, and the number of new businesses that have gone in over there, that whole area has just been growing.

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