Officials hope housing plans will spark development

Village trustees voice enthusiasm over word that Hillcrest Builders will buy 40 acres near school campus
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Long-hoped-for economic development in Fredonia may get a kick-start beginning next spring when new construction could include a major housing development on the village’s north side.

Village Trustee Dan Gehrke told other Village Board members during their Nov. 7 meeting that Hillcrest Builders and Realty’s offer to purchase 40 acres  north and west of the Northern Ozaukee School District campus had been accepted that day.

Gehrke, who is a realtor for Hillcrest, said the company is looking at building 30 to 60 homes there.

The land at the north end of Milwaukee Street and the east end of Deer Meadow Drive was originally platted as the next phase of the troubled Village Green development, originally envisioned as an upscale 328-lot subdivision designed by Regency Hills Development Corp. and MasterCraft Builders.

But that project came to a screeching halt, as did other local developments — including the 240-acre Cobblestone Village east of Highway 57 and north of Highway A — with the onset of the recession in 2008. What resulted was a protracted legal wrangling and bankruptcy, shutting down what promised to become a period of rapid economic growth for the village.

M&I Regional Properties took over the project, which has remained essentially idle since and is currently known for being home to an extremely large pile of dirt.

Village and school district officials have for years hoped the Village Green, Cobblestone Village and other developments could restart as the economy at large has accelerated the last few years.

“We’ve been lacking in development for a long time,” said Gehrke, who is a member of the village’s Economic Development Committee. “We need to do something for people to move here so we can grow.”

The news was greeted with excitement by board members.

“It would be nice to get some new homes built in Fredonia, finally,” Village President Don Dohrwardt said.

“It’s really an exciting time for the village,” Gehrke said. “Next spring we should be building.”

Gehrke and Dohrwardt said details of Hillcrest’s plans for the project are not yet set. Public Works Director Roger Strohm said a preliminary plat for the land showed primarily single-family homes with some duplexes and commercial property. 

Dohrwardt said a joint meeting of the Village Board and the Northern Ozaukee School Board will be held in the near future to discuss the project.

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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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