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Port Washington


City considers new options for VK land PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 18:36

Port officials begin studying alternative uses for property Brookfield developer earmarked for massive subdivision

Port Washington officials last week began to take a look at how the city’s south side will develop, given the fact that Brookfield developer Vincent Kuttemperoor is likely to lose control of much of the property he once proposed turning into a massive, high-end subdivision.

The Plan Commission directed city staff members to create an inventory of Kuttemperoor’s holdings so they have a better idea which properties they are studying.

“Once we get an inventory ... then we’ll be ready to look at land uses,” Mayor Scott Huebner said.

The city also needs to find out which banks hold mortgages on the land, officials said, noting that one financial institution has already initiated foreclosure proceedings on a parcel of Kuttemperoor’s land.

Ald. Dan Becker, a member of the commission, said the panel should proceed carefully, noting the decisions made will affect the community for decades.

“There are so many things you can do,” he said.

Commission member Earl Kelley said the property east of Highway C — much of which was included in Kuttemperoor’s initial annexation a decade ago — would be “beautiful residential land.”

Others noted that parcels west of Highway C near the city’s current industrial area could be used to expand that use, perhaps creating a business park.

Land along Highway 32 could also create a commercial corridor, members noted.

But, Kelley warned, the city has always set a key goal of not allowing any development on Kuttemperoor’s land to compete with businesses downtown.

“It’s almost like making a mini-land use plan for the area,” commission member Bud Sova said. “We have to be careful. We don’t want to block any future streets or infrastructure.”

Kuttemperoor owns close to 800 acres on the city’s south side and the Town of Grafton, including about 500 acres within the city limits, said Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development.

The land, which stretches from the Lake Michigan shoreline to Highway 32, was amassed by Kuttemperoor beginning in 1988 and continuing through the 1990s.

However, when the housing market crashed, Kuttemperoor, like many developers, found himself struggling, Tetzlaff said. The developer has placed more than 300 acres on the market with an asking price of $25 million, and individuals and developers
are looking at smaller parcels — some as small as two acres.

People are beginning to ask what they can do with the property, Tetzlaff said.

“In the not-too-distant future, we have to have an idea what to tell them,” he said. “The question is where do we go from here?”

When Kuttemperoor annexed the land, a study of the property and its proposed uses was conducted for the city. Huebner said the city needs to examine that study and see if its findings are still valid.

City Administrator Mark Grams said Kuttemperoor added to his holdings after the study was completed.

The study, he added, “was the worst case scenario to determine how many houses could you pack in there.”

It looked at Kuttemperoor’s preliminary plan, which  called for building as many as 574 single-family homes and 222 multifamily units, primarily duplex condominiums, as well as 22 acres of commercial shops and a 450-unit resort hotel. There was to
be land for a school and public access to the lakefront.

Kuttemperoor estimated the development would ultimately be worth $480 million.

He spent years working on concepts for the property, developing plans for a high-end golf course surrounded by residential development and considering ways to stabilize the eroding bluff.

Jason Wittek, 469 W. Grand Ave., asked the commission to consider that the development provide for a mix of income levels and housing uses, with coherent mixed-use neighborhoods that allow people to walk and bike to destinations.

“Wealth of a city isn’t just the value of its homes, but the utility of its neighborhoods,” he said. “I am in no way against new growth. But I am against more of the same growth we’ve seen on the outskirts of Port Washington in the last few years.”

 
Public review of coal dock leases begins PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:05

Port officials to unveil details of utility agreements that will pave way for development of lakefront park


The Port Washington Common Council was expected on Wednesday, Feb. 16, to begin public discussions of the leases for the coal dock property the city plans to develop into a premier lakefront park..

City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday the leases, which have been negotiated over the past several years, are “99% completed.”

The remaining changes, he added, won’t be “anything earth-shattering.”

The leases are required because the coal dock was created by filling in the lakefront in the 1930s, when We Energies needed an area for freighters to unload the coal that fueled its power plant.

 
Woelfel to trade one PW-S job for another PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 19:14
Duane Woelfel

Port High principal will resign to become district’s director of special services

Port Washington High School Principal Duane Woelfel will resign his position at the end of June, but he’s not going far. He will become the Port Washington-Saukville School District’s director of special services.    

The School Board on Monday accepted the unanimous recommendation of a hiring committee and approved a two-year contract for Woelfel, who will assume the special education position on July 1.

“Working with special-needs students is a passion of mine,” he said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity.”

 
Former bank to be razed this spring PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 19:12
THE FORMER M&I BANK building (center) on Franklin Street in downtown Port Washington must be razed by April 15, according to an order approved by Judge Tom Wolfgram last week. The building has been partially repaired since this 2008 photograph was taken.
                                                                                         Press file photo

Court-approved agreement paves way for demolition of M&I building to begin March 1

The former M&I Bank building in downtown Port Washington will be razed this spring under the terms of an agreement reached by the City of Port and Port Harbor Investments LLC, the building owner.

The agreement approved by Judge Tom Wolfgram Friday, Jan. 28, calls for demolition work on the building to begin by March 1 with the razing to be completed — including restoration of the site — by April 15.

Attorney Mark Hazelbaker, who represents Port Harbor Investments, agreed to the stipulation Friday.

“I think we’re on track to get this issue resolved,” he told Wolfgram.

However, the agreement — which would settle a pending lawsuit between the city and Port Harbor Investments — is not final until it is approved by the Port Washington Common Council. Aldermen were slated to act on the measure Tuesday, but their meeting was postponed until Wednesday, Feb. 16, because of weather.

 
Downtown Port gets two new businesses PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 19:19
TWO DOWNTOWN PORT WASHINGTON buildings will soon house new businesses. The former North Shore Homes building at 404 N. Franklin St. (above) will become a counseling center while the former Graff Jewelers store at 223 N. Franklin St. will become a tea room and gift shop.
                                          Photos by Bill Schanen IV

Officials hope opening of counseling center, tea room will help spark renewed interest in shopping district

Two new businesses are preparing to open in downtown Port Washington, a sign of renewed interest in the central shopping district, officials said.

“Maybe that’ll bring more interest to downtown,” City Administrator Mark Grams said. “It’s a sign properties are starting to move.

“There seems to be a little more interest in the buildings now. I think you’re going to start to see things happen a little bit.”

The former North Shore Homes building at 404 N. Franklin St. has been sold to Harry and Rosemary Schaumburg, who will open the Stone Gate Resources counseling center there.

 
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