Newport Shores project on track for fall start

Ansay prepared to proceed with lakefront development while it continues planning for St. Mary’s apartments

A RENDERING BY the architectural firm Rinka, formerly Rinka Chung, shows what the Newport Shores complex will look like from the southwest. Ansay Development expects to break ground on the project this fall.
Ozaukee Press staff

Even as Ansay Development moves ahead with plans to convert St. Mary’s School into apartments, the firm is also proceeding with its Newport Shores development.

Construction of the Newport Shores project, which would replace the current lakefront restaurant with a modern building with a mix of uses — 22 condominiums, office space, a store, restaurant and rooftop pub — is slated for this fall,  Ian McCain, Ansay’s design/construction manager said.

The condominiums have recently been listed for purchase starting in the mid-$300,000s, and the company has been talking to prospective tenants for the rest of the building, McCain said, adding they hope to have leases signed for all the spaces before the groundbreaking.

Ansay is close to signing a restaurateur for the lakefront space, he said.

McCain would not specify who the tenant was or what type of restaurant it would be, but said, “It will continue to be an affordable family and business atmosphere. It’s not going to be a place where you’ll have $40 white-tablecloth dinners. You can have a business dinner meeting there or you can come in wearing your flip flops with your family.”

Newport Shores restaurant will be open through the start of construction, McCain said, and owner John Weinrich will be involved in both the new restaurant and the rooftop pub.

“We were excited about the prospect of the project when we first conceived it, but as we’re talking to prospective tenants, we’re really excited,” he said. “It’s a reflection on what Port Washington has to offer.”

There are still several steps Ansay needs to take with the city before the project gets underway, McCain said.

The company will be seeking final site plan approval from the Plan Commission in August, and the Common Council needs to decide where it wants the Kiwanis pavilion and the fish cleaning station relocated, he said. Both will be relocated during the off season.

The city also needs to determine whether the east end of Jackson Street should be vacated, he said.

That decision won’t change Ansay’s plans, McCain said.

“Either way, we’ll proceed,” he said.

If the city vacates the street, McCain said, the parking that Ansay builds there will be public and the company will give the city a permanent easement to ensure public access to the breakwater, waterfront and water filtration plant.

“We will never interrupt access to the breakwater,” he said. “We’re not going to lock up access to the breakwater.”

Ansay has proposed acquiring the street because it serves as the major entrance to the site, McCain said.

“We don’t believe it should be the city’s responsibility to plow the entrance to our building,” he said.

Construction of the Newport Shores project is expected to take about a year, McCain said.

The first building in Ansay’s Lake Harbor Loft project on Washington Street is just weeks from completion, McCain said, adding work on the second building, which is off Pier Street, will begin in early fall.

Each of the two buildings will have four condominium units of about 1,700 square feet, each with a 400-square-foot garage and a private rooftop deck.

And last week, the city’s Plan Commission recommended approval of a conditional use permit and rezoning for the St. Mary’s School project, which will convert the former school into as many as 30 apartments while also creating a historic district that encompasses the school, St. Mary’s Church, its parish center and former convent.

The commission also approved a final site and building plan for the project.

Fire Chief Mark Mitchell asked the commission to urge Ansay to replace the elevator in the building with a new one that’s large enough to accommodate a gurney. The company is planning to rehab the existing elevator, which is not large enough, he said.

“I cannot see my ambulance crew carrying a stretcher up to the second floor,” he said.

Commission members agreed, with Mayor Marty Becker, chairman of the commission, saying, “It’s a must. It (the current elevator) is more like a dumbwaiter than an elevator. It’s not meant to transport people.”

Commission members were enthused about the plans for the former school.

“You’ve done a great job,” commission member Eric Ryer said. “It’s great to give new life to a building that might otherwise be sitting empty.”


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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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