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Large Pawn Shop Wants to Move Into Ultimate Electronics Building

Police officials voice concerns that the shop would put a strain on the police department.

Members of the Greenfield Plan Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday to schedule a public hearing for comment on a big-box pawn shop retailer proposal. 

Exchange Street, an emerging merchandise resale concept, is proposing to open a retail storefront at 4585 S. 76th St., formerly filled by both Circuit City and , across the major thoroughfare from . The business, if successful in its bid to open the store front in Greenfield, would buy and pawn durable goods such as electronics and jewelry.  

The proposal concerns officials. Brass voiced concern that the retailer may require the department to have another detective to handle theft cases in which thieves sell stolen items at the retailer. 

"This is definitely an identifiable issue and concern for the police department," said Chief Francis Springob. "Don't ever think that this is not an issue and a problem. It is. It's not Greenfield and we are not an island. We're part of a major metropolitan area." 

After commending company officials for their continued dialog with the department, Springob said that even if a stolen item came from another jurisdiction, the department would still be involved. 

"It's still stolen property. It's still proceeds from a criminal act and we are ethically, professionally and bound by law to take action on that. So it does have an impact," he said. 

Exchange Street representatives appeared in front of the Plan Commission requesting special use of the lot to open the retail business involving the sale and purchase of used merchandise in the vacant building. 

"When I first saw the proposal, I was definitely against it," said commissioner Frederick Hess. "Since then, you have softened a few edges, but I would like a few more edges softened before I would be in favor of it."

Hess said one of the objections he has is the general idea of a pawn shop. 

"I have an image of pawn shops in my younger days," Hess said. "I have been looking at the pictures and it kind of softened a few edges."

Exchange Street officials assured him and the commission that the retail store is well-kepted and is staffed with well-trained professionals, who go through an extensive background check before they are hired.

"We deal with the perception issue on a daily basis," said Chuck Armstrong, Community Affairs Director for Exchange Street. "The best way to change that perception is to walk into our front door."

This would be the sixth Exchange Street location in the state. The retailer does not deal in firearms nor operates a pay-day loan enterprise.

Robert May 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM
How will the area attract high end retailers to Southridge with a Pawn Shop located there? What sort of landscape are we trying to create?
Brendan O'Brien May 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Robert, I'm interest in your question. From a retail standpoint, what do you think we should be creating along the 76th street corridor? Should we be attracting high end retailers or those that bring in the most consumers?
Ruth Marczewski June 03, 2011 at 04:41 PM
I live near here and agree with Greenfield police on the issue of stolen goods being pawned. I think this type of retailer cheapens the area.
glennerd June 03, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Greenfield has made some great steps in the right direction with Konkel park, its trails and the new library. Why make a step in the other direction? Besides, there are so many other retailers that we have to travel all the way to Brookfield for, lets see Babie's R Us or Trader Joes or Whole Foods. As a greenfield resident, I don't want this pawn shop.

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