August 15, 2005

Bavarian Wal-Mart

I'm hoping the folks at The Box Tank will post some photos or drawings of this store:

Swap Frankenmuth's Bavarian emblems of beer steins and bratwurst for windmills and wooden shoes, and you've got Pella, Iowa.

The Dutch-themed tourist town settled in 1847 -- two years after Frankenmuth -- similarly prides itself on its agricultural roots and storied European heritage.

So when Wal-Mart came a-knocking this year, Pella officials were leery of the big-box behemoth clashing with their Holland-themed haven.

But after careful review of the city's ordinances, Planning Commission members gave the 99,700-square-foot supercenter the green light in April.

"In Pella, the approach with the zoning ordinance is not to prohibit big-box development," said Planning and Zoning Director George J. Wesselhoft, "but rather make it distinctive so it doesn't resemble 'Anytown USA' architecture...."

Pella officials OK'd the rezoning after Wal-Mart agreed to adhere to a Netherlander architectural design, including burgundy and cream shutters, a green sign, trees, extended sidewalks and a Dutch gable over the entrance.

Posted by Kevin on August, 15 2005 at 05:38 PM