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County Executive Falk Sponsors Conference to Examine Big Box Developments in Dane County

October 14, 2003
Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is inviting local communities to take a closer look at the impact big box developments have on Dane County communities at a day-long conference in Middleton this Friday, Oct. 17. National and local speakers will examine in detail the options, trends and challenges that big box developments pose. “Big box stores require roads, sewers, city services, and draw sales from existing stores,” said Falk. “People need to evaluate the costs and benefits, and what they want for their community.” A big box store is a stand-alone building, typically significantly larger than traditional stores, often uniform in appearance, having its own parking lot and usually near a major highway. Examples are Home Depot, Menard’s, Target and Wal-Mart. Kenneth Stone, professor of economics at Iowa State University and author of the book, “Competing with the Retail Giants,” will discuss his research on the economic impact of big box stores. He has been profiled in the New York Times and quoted widely in the national media. Charles Bohl, of the University of Miami and author of the book, “Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages,” will discuss the evolution of commercial development, from strip malls to enclosed malls to big box stores. Other speakers will discuss proposed big box developments closer to home—a potential Woodman’s store in Sun Prairie, a Wal-Mart in Stoughton and the City of Madison proposed big box ordinance. The conference is October 17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wisconsin Trade Center building in Greenway Center, 8401 Greenway Blvd., Middleton. Cost is $35. Space is limited, only a few seats remain. Registration information is available at, or call Kathy at 261-9781. ###
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