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Lakefront apartment plan prompts hearing PDF Print E-mail
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:34

Height of proposed complex praised by Port officials but may rekindle debate over marina-area development

    The debate over lakefront development in Port Washington is likely to take center stage again next week as the Common Council considers granting a special exception to allow Ansay Development to exceed the 35-foot height limit for apartments it wants to build on the former Victor’s Restaurant site on Washington Street.
   APTS LG A public hearing on the special exception will take place during the 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, council meeting.
    Aldermen could take action on the measure later that night.
    Ansay is seeking to build two buildings  with a total of eight apartments that would be 43 feet tall at their apex.
    The entire building, however, would not be 43 feet. The bulk of the building would meet the 35-foot limit. Only the stair towers that allow access to the rooftop gardens and decks would exceed the limit, and these would be set back from the edge of the buildings to minimize the visual impact from the street, officials said.
    Ansay Development presented a concept design for the apartments in June and made changes to it based on comments it received from the Design Review Board and the Plan Commission.
    It presented two options for the building design to the city — one with flat roofs that would meet the 35-foot limit and the other with an angular design that exceeded the limit — and both the board and commission recommended approval of the taller option, saying it is the more aesthetically pleasing plan and will bring a new sense of life to the area.
    The rooftop gardens and decks will allow the tenants to have lake views that would otherwise be obscured by the proposed Blues Factory development to the south, officials noted.
    Plan     Commission member Amanda Williams said at the time that she was initially leery of the building height.
    “It’s clear the (plan) with the rooftop deck is the more architecturally pleasing one,” she said. “It has more character. I like that it adds life to the area.”
    The design also blends well with the adjacent condominium project being developed by Stephen Perry Smith on the former car-trailer parking lot at the corner of Washington and Lake streets, Williams said.
    Tom Meaux, president of Ansay Holdings, told the Plan Commission the firm is trying to attract high-end renters who will spend more money in downtown.
    “To me, I support the higher option,” City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday. “I think it’s a much better design. It looks better. It’s not the entire building that would be taller, it’s just the stairwells.”

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:35
 
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