Jeramey Jannene

Burlington Store Will Replace Piggy Wiggly On Capitol Dr.

No more shopping the pig, but there will be coats and a Frank Lloyd Wright connection.

By - Jan 18th, 2023 01:32 pm
Piggy Wiggly store at 701-709 E. Capitol Dr. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Piggy Wiggly store at 701-709 E. Capitol Dr. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Change is afoot for a shopping center located near the intersection of N. Holton St. and E. Capitol Dr.

A Piggly Wiggly grocery store is closing, a Burlington discount department store is opening and the 90,000-square-foot complex at 701-709 E. Capitol Dr. where the store is located has a new owner.

A Planet Fitness gym, Citi Trends clothing store and Beauty Palace beauty supply store all continue to operate in the shopping center complex.

According to a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Piggly Wiggly’s closing will result in the loss of 52 jobs. The closure is to occur over two weeks starting March 18 according to the filing, although discounts can already be found on the store’s remaining inventory.

A sign permit submitted Wednesday to the Department of Neighborhood Services indicates a Burlington store is planned to fill the 32,000-square-foot grocery store space.

Both changes are to come after Capitol Commons Partners LLC, an affiliate of Bayside-based Midland Management, acquired the 7.02-acre shopping center property on Jan. 4 for $5.85 million from PJR Properties. PJR, an affiliate of Piggly Wiggly Midwest, acquired the property in 2015 for $3.85 million. Midland owns several shopping centers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The grocery store has operated in the shopping center since 2009. It was remodeled in 2015 when PJR acquired the shopping center. That same year the complex was expanded to accommodate Planet Fitness’s opening. PJR later sold a 0.55-acre portion of the parking lot for $650,000 to an investment group that constructed a Davita dialysis center in 2017.

Formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, the retailer now known as Burlington is a New Jersey-based “office price” department store with more than 1,000 locations. Its website lists four locations in the Milwaukee area: W. Greenfield Ave in West Allis, W. Capitol Dr. in Brookfield, N. Green Bay Rd. in Brown Deer and 1501 W. Zellman Ct., just off S. 13th St., in the city proper.

The sign for the new store will list the company’s many discount offerings: ladies, mens, kids, baby, home and coats.

The Piggly Wiggly Midwest website says the Sheboygan-based chain has 104 stores. The only store within Milwaukee city limits is a franchisee-owned location at 123 W. Oklahoma Ave. in Bay View. C&S Wholesale Grocery announced an acquisition of the midwestern Piggly Wiggly chain in 2021, uniting it into a conglomerate of approximately 500 Piggly Wiggly stores from other regions.

Piggly Wiggly’s closure marks the end of a series of successive grocery stores anchoring the complex.

The building, constructed in 1984 according to assessment records, was originally occupied by a Pick ‘n Save store that filled virtually the entire thing, then a Jewel Osco and eventually a Lena’s Food Market. The Martin family, which owned the Lena’s chain, was the franchisee behind the Piggly Wiggly store when it first opened and owned the property until selling it and the store to PJR in 2015.

Prior to the shopping center, the site was occupied by Adelman Laundry for five decades.

Members of the Adelman family were patrons of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and commissioned several house designs and a replacement plant and office design for the laundry business. Unfortunately for architecture aficionados, the Wright-designed plant was never built. But the 1940s drawing of it became subject to a lawsuit tied to the shopping center’s construction.

A high school art teacher found the Wright drawing during the laundry plant’s demolition and sold it to Chicago violinist and Wright appreciator Elliott M. Golub, triggering a lawsuit. A jury ruled that Albert Adelman was still the rightful owner. Adelman was represented on the case by his son Lynn Adelman, then a state senator and now a federal judge.

Two Wright drawings for the Adelman’s did become reality. The Albert and Edith Adelman House can be found in Fox Point. The Benjamin Adelman House can be found in a substantially altered state in Phoenix, where Ben retired after handing the laundry business over to his son Albert.

One of Wright’s drawings of the plant indicates it wouldn’t have gone on the Capitol Drive site, and was instead targeted for the intersection of W. Lisbon Ave. and N. 50th St. The drawings are now in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum.


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One thought on “Burlington Store Will Replace Piggy Wiggly On Capitol Dr.”

  1. Colin says:

    “off price” not office price.

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