Cedar Vineyard developer says he’s reached deal to buy land

Purchase of property for subdivision, nature preserve expected by Christmas

    The developer of the proposed Cedar Vineyard subdivision on Port Washington’s southeast side said he has again reached an agreement to buy a 240-acre parcel along Highway C from Waukesha State Bank.
    Tom Swarthout, president of the Highview Group, said he expects to complete the purchase before Christmas.
    “We have a lot of coordination to do with grant funds,” Swarthout said, noting he is working with city and county officials as well as the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust to complete the deal.
    “A lot of people are moving heaven and earth to get this done. All the documents have to be coordinated. We have to have everyone at the table.”
    Swarthout and the bank had previously reached a purchase agreement for the land but that expired and bank officials had been actively marketing the property.
    The Cedar Vineyard development has been in the works for almost three years, and has been widely anticipated by the city.
    It has been touted as a unique opportunity for the public, since a 101-acre swath of environmentally sensitive land, including Cedar Gorge, in the center of the development will be purchased by Swarthout and almost immediately bought by the Land Trust.
    In addition to the nature area, the Land Trust would also purchase land along the Lake Michigan bluffs and beach. These properties, along with the preserve, would then be deeded to Ozaukee County to be maintained as public land in perpetuity.
    The Land Trust and county are using grant funds to buy the land.
    The development also includes 82 single-family lots with a vineyard planted along Highway C. A winery would be developed on the southwestern corner of the highway and Stonecroft Drive.
    The winery and vineyard are to be run by Steve and Maria Johnson, who own Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery in Kewaunee and Door 44 Winery in Sturgeon Bay.
    Swarthout said a conservation easement will be placed on the vineyard, ensuring that land will never be developed.



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