Four-story apartment complex plan advances

Port commission OKs design but alderman says residents concerned by height of westside complex
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Plans for a 90-unit apartment building on Port Washington’s west side that has a dozen units for adults with disabilities are moving ahead.

The Plan Commission recently approved a new building and site plan for the structure, and the Common Council on Tuesday held its initial review of a change in the planned overlay development district for the structure.

The four-story building would be constructed by Cardinal Capital Management on 6.5 acres off Highway LL north of Highway 33 — land earmarked two years ago for a similar but smaller project with units reserved for people with autism.

That plan fell through, architect Jason Korb said, and Cardinal now plans to reserve units for adults with any disability who can live independently.

That plan met with concern from neighbors, and Ald. Jonathan Pleitner, who represents that area, said he has heard from some residents who are worried about the height of the building.

He said he’s also concerned that while the number of units has increased, the number of apartments set aside for people with disabilities hasn’t gone up.

Architect Jason Korb said all the units are adaptable for people with disabilities, making it possible for more than 12 to be rented to those tenants.

“It has some flexibility to it,” he said. Korb noted that the building is now slated to be about 50 feet tall except on the south end, where it will be three stories with a rooftop deck.

While the previous building was to be three stories, he said that the new structure would be about as high as the hill behind it.

The site amenities, including walking trails, green spaces and gardens, will remain the same, he said.

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.

The building would run north and south, with a bend in the center that’s intended to break up the length of the structure.

There would be underground parking, as well as a parking lot that 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, he said. 

The change to the overlay district is needed to accommodate the service center and allow Cardinal to construct fewer parking places than the code requires.

Korb said Cardinal wants to increase the green space in its parking lot and doesn’t believe it needs as many spots as required because many of the adults with disabilities won’t have vehicles.

Ald. Mike Ehrlich said he liked the design of the original project, but the revised plan resembles that plan “grown up.”

“I like this project,” he said.

A public hearing on the change to the overlay district will be held during the Common Council’s Tuesday, March 19, meeting.

If all goes well, ground could be broken for the building in August or September, officials have said.

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