Complex that drew ire in 2017 would be even larger

Apartment building that was controversial when proposed would now be four stories with 90 units on Port’s west side
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Cardinal Capital Management, which received approval to build a 69-unit apartment building and wellness center with apartments dedicated for people with autism on Port Washington’s west side in 2017, on Tuesday came forward with a new plan.

But that new plan may be even more controversial than the original one, which drew the ire of neighbors concerned about everything from building mass and location, since the proposed building would have 90 units and be four stories instead of three.

The Design Review Board recommended approval of a final building and site plan for the  building, which would be constructed on 6.5 acres off Highway LL north of Highway 33 that Cardinal Capital bought from Ozaukee County.

When it’s constructed, the building will be the largest apartment building in the city, Fire Chief Mark Mitchell, a member of the board, noted.

Instead of catering to people with autism, the building would have about 12 units set aside for adults with disabilities, Bob Harris, the city’s director of planning and development, said.

And instead of being three stories, the building at 351 N. Heritage Rd. would now be four stories, he said, adding that the building would step down to three stories on the south end, where a rooftop deck would be located.

Just as in the past, the design provides for walking paths, garden beds and other amenities that would be open to the public west of the apartment building.

“The design that was approved does not work in 2019 the way it did in 2017,” architect Jason Korb told the board. “Given the benefit of time, you always find ways to improve a project.”

While the site plan is almost identical to the one submitted and approved two years ago, Korb said, the new design has more of a residential feel to it.

That was accomplished, in part, through the use of an accentuated roof overhang and balconies, he said.

Next to the rooftop deck will be a party room that anyone in the building can use, he added.

“It’s more like an apartment building you would expect to see,” Korb said.

The building would have market-rate apartments, and those intended for people with disabilities would not be segregated in the building, he said.

All the apartments will have the features needed, Korb said, noting many of those amenities also allow people to age in place. 

“The idea is they’re independent and all mixed together,” Tadhg Mc Inerney, an architect and planner for Cardinal Capital, said.

The building is long, Korb said, adding that the main entrance in the center divides the building in two.

The building would have 68 underground parking spaces and 70 spaces in the parking lot, he said.

The parking lot would be shared with a service center that’s expected to be built next to the apartments sometime in the future, Korb said.

That center would likely include services such as occupational and physical therapy, perhaps a visiting nurse and a couple exam rooms, Korb said. Four to eight people are expected to staff the center.

Although the building height is allowed in the zoning district, Cardinal Capital will need a planned development overlay to allow it to provide less parking than required in the zoning code, Harris said.

The fact that the wetlands are being preserved as an amenity and the trails will be open to the public was lauded by board member Adele Richert.

“I like the idea of keeping it natural and keeping it open to the neighborhood,” she said.

The Plan Commission is expected to review the proposal when it meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21.

Korb said that, if all goes well, ground could be broken for the building in August or September.

“Then you have a fighting chance to get your footings in before winter,” he said.

In other action, the board recommended dividing four single-family lots on North Grant Street that the city sold to Fine Line Carpentry into five lots.

The lots would go from 87 feet wide to about 70 feet, which will accommodate the type of houses the firm plans to build, said Nick Suddendorf of Fine Line.

Those homes will be about 2,000 square feet, he said, adding that the lots are relatively deep.

“People are going to have back yards,” Suddendorf said.

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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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