Jackson St. townhouses clear design hurdle at last

Port board likes result of multiple revisions, sends plan to commission

A RENDERING BY Continuum Architects shows a nine-unit condominium project proposed to be built on East Jackson Street in Port Washington’s marina district. The plan was approved by the Design Review Board Tuesday and will be considered by the Plan Commission Feb. 20.
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

The fourth time was the charm for a proposed nine-unit townhouse project planned for East Jackson Street in Port Washington.

The Design Review Board on Tuesday approved a revised design plan for the townhouses that John and Jan Lanser want to build between the bike trail and the Light Station staircase on the north side of Jackson Street at the base of the bluff.

The project will go to the Plan Commission for review when it meets Thursday, Feb. 20.

“You’ve gone to great lengths to try to address our concerns,” architect Jeremy Hartline, a member of the board, said.

Bob Harris, the city’s director of planning and development, said the revised design is simpler and more symmetrical than previous iterations, something he had sought.

The new design “balances the desires of the applicants for a more modern flavor,” Harris said in a memo to the board.

Jan Lanser concurred, saying, “I think we’ve really toned it down, made it more subdued but still kept it elegant.”

The three-story building has a modern design that has been tweaked since the project was first proposed last fall. 

Each unit would have a garage and vestibule on the main floor, the main living areas on the second floor and bedrooms on the third.

There will also be rooftop patios for the units, with solid and cable railings alternating for each unit along the front facade.

Architect Vaishali Wagh of Continuum Architects told the board that the current plan incorporates an alternating design pattern since officials said the previous design had too much variation between the units.

The units on the east end would be set back from the other condos, which Wagh said will “be the exclamation point” on the project and provide better sight lines to the lakefront for the units.

The west end of the building is close to the staircase leading to the Light Station and is primarily a blank wall with few windows, Wagh said, to provide security and privacy for the residents and to meet building codes.

The back of the building, which faces a retaining wall that’s required because the hillside will be cut back to accommodate the condominiums, is relatively plain as well, Wagh said, noting that only the residents will see it.

Hartline suggested that some architectural details be added to the rear to give the structure a more residential feeling, saying the current design appeared “monolithic.”

The building color scheme has also changed from earth tones to grays and sage.

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