By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jun 16, 2006 at 9:57 AM
The University Square Sentry Foods store at 2938 N. Oakland Ave. is closing, marking Friday, June 30 as its last sale date.

Property owner Ted Balistreri is working with developer Blair Williams of Winder Real Estate to redevelop the site, along with the vacant neighboring site at 2914 N. Oakland Ave., says East Side B.I.D. No. 20 executive director Jim Plaisted.

“When Ben Franklin closed, Ted’s original plan was to expand Sentry into that space,” he says. “When that idea was shot down about two years ago, he started looking around for other options.”

Balistreri’s plan includes relocating the Walgreens at 2830 N. Oakland Ave. into a newly constructed building at the former Sentry site, and creating three floors of apartments above it. Plaisted says the apartments will be unique, modern and targeted toward students. The projected goal for this development is to be open in August 2007.

“We see this as good news for the neighborhood,” he says. “We’ve been long frustrated by the vacancy, and new, modern buildings will do a lot of good for cleaning up the look of the neighborhood.”

As part of the move, Balistreri gains ownership of the current Walgreens property and Plaisted says that they are considering small food store options for the space.

“We understand the strain of removing a grocery store from the area and we’re looking into what might work for that neighborhood.”
Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”