Newport Shores work won’t begin until later in year

Later-than-announced start for lakefront development means restaurant will be open for another summer
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Construction of the Newport Shores development won’t begin this spring but instead will likely commence sometime this summer, according to Ansay Development Corp.

City and state approvals are still required for the project, which would replace the current Newport Shores restaurant on Port Washington’s waterfront with a modern building with a mix of uses — as many as 30 condominiums, office space, a store, restaurant and rooftop pub — said Ian McCain, Ansay’s design/construction manager.

The L-shaped building, which features a bold, glassy design, would encompass not only the land occupied by the eatery but also two structures to the west owned by Newport Shores proprietor John Weinrich and a portion of the city-owned property south of the restaurant.

“We’re working on it,” McCain said.
“We’re aiming to start work sometime in mid-summer.”

Construction will take about a year, he said.

City Administrator Mark Grams said Ansay representatives are expected to discuss the Newport Shores project with the Common Council during its Tuesday, Feb. 5, meeting.

That discussion is likely to include a timetable for the project and an update on the proposed pay-as-you-go tax incremental financing funding sought by Ansay for the project, Grams said.

Ansay announced it would seek the TIF funding in November, but has not determined how much financing it needs, McCain said.

When the Common Council approved a land swap to accommodate the development in December, McCain told aldermen that the amount would be dependent, in part, on the cost of relocating the fish cleaning station and Kiwanis pavilion.

The Harbor Commission has recommended that the fish cleaning station be moved to an island in the marina parking lot just north of the car-trailer parking area,  and the Parks and Recreation Board has recommended moving the shelter to South Beach.

The Newport Shores project is expected to increase the value of the Newport Shores parcel from $646,700 to $20 million, McCain told aldermen last fall.

In a pay-as-you-go TIF, the developer pays the cost of improvements up front, with a city refunding a designated portion of that money through the increased taxes paid on the building. In a traditional TIF, a city pays for the improvements with that money refunded through the increased taxes.

McCain noted that the fact that construction on the development won’t begin until sometime this summer means that the iconic Newport Shores restaurant will continue to operate under Weinrich.

“John’s been getting a lot of phone calls from people asking if he’s open yet. He’s wide open until we put a shovel in the ground,” McCain said.

“John will be open until that happens.”

The restaurant recently announced it is booking bands for performances on its patio this summer.

Weinrich, McCain noted, is an investor in the Newport Shores project who will manage and operate the new rooftop bar and restaurant in the development.

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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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