Port commission OKs final Newport Shores plan

Although city approvals are in place, Ansay says lakefront condo, restaurant project not likely to begin until spring

WORK ON THE PROPOSED Newport Shores redevelopment project could begin as soon as next spring depending on presales, Ansay Development officials said. The Port Washington Plan Commission last week approved the final site plan for the project. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington Plan Commission last week approved the final site and building plan for Ansay Development’s Newport Shores project — a project that won’t get underway until at least next spring, one of the development partners said Tuesday.

“I don’t have a date but it will be next spring,” Newport Shores restaurant owner John Weinrich said, referring to when he expects to close his eatery and the redevelopment project will begin.

Ian McCain, Ansay’s design/construction manager, said Ansay is eyeing a spring start to construction but if the firm meets its sales goal, work could begin sooner.

Ansay is more than halfway to its goal, he said, although he wouldn’t say what that goal is. The development is drawing a lot of interest, McCain added.

There are 29 condominium units in the building, including a two-story unit on the northeast corner of the top floor.

“We had a lot of interest in that one immediately,” McCain said.

Weinrich noted that a couple from Minnesota who came to Port to look at a different condominium ended up reserving one in the Newport Shores building.

“People are realizing it’s going to be a beautiful property. No one can build in front of us,” Weinrich added. “It’s a unique building.”

The building plans have been tweaked since the plans were originally submitted to the city, said Elliot Young, the senior project manager and architect with the Milwaukee firm Rinka, which has designed the Newport Shores development for Ansay.

But the changes have not substantially altered the appearance of the building or its uses.

“We’re pretty darn proud of this building and the fact there aren’t many changes,” McCain said.

The first floor of the building will contain a 3,500-square-foot restaurant, with a wrap-around deck, three tenant spaces and parking for residents and workers.

The second and third floors will have 11 condominiums each, while the fourth floor will have seven residential units as well as a rooftop pub with a deck.

While much of the building will be primarily encased in glass, more solid surfaces will be seen as it faces west toward the city, Young said.

To minimize potential bird strikes, Ansay has enlarged the balcony overhangs, he said, and changed the railings on the balconies from glass to a cable system that deters birds.

The glass, McCain added, will be a low-reflection glass that’s considered bird friendly because it does not reflect as much of the sky and trees.

While the building retains its modern appearance, Ansay has added touches of a wood-like cladding to warm the appearance, Young said.

Since there won’t be a pavilion near the breakwater as originally proposed, he added, Ansay will be adding more public parking on Jackson Street. 

That, combined with other changes, will result in an additional 20 parking stalls on the site, Young said.

Ansay has also reoriented the building so it will open the views to the lake along Jackson Street, Young said.

“Our overall goal is to get people to the breakwater,” he said. 

McCain said he would like the city to make a decision soon on where it wants the fish cleaning station and Kiwanis pavilion relocated, as well as Ansay’s proposal to vacate the east end of Jackson Street.

If the city vacates that block, he 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.

Commission members were pleased with the design and plans for the $20 million development.

Commission member Eric Ryer concurred, saying, “It looks great. It’s definitely going to transform the lakefront.”


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