Port council clears way for city’s largest subdivision

Aldermen OK rezoning for 238-home development on south bluff property

The Prairie's Edge subdivision, which is to be built on south bluff land currently owned by the City of Port Washington, would have 238 homes and 40,000 square feet of commercial space.
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington Common Council  paved the way for the largest subdivision in the city to be built by rezoning the city’s south bluff land to accommodate the proposed Prairie’s Edge subdivision.

The subdivision is expected to add almost $60 million to the city’s tax base through a mix of 238 residential units and 40,000 square feet of commercial space while also ensuring public access to the south beach and bluff.

The project, which is to be completed by 2023, is being built on land the city received from We Energies in 2004 as part of an agreement allowing the utility to convert its plant to natural gas without city objections.  

The property had been zoned for low-density residential development, which was the “holding district” when the land was acquired by the city, according to the Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development.

But when the city sought proposals for development of the land, he said, it specified that a mixed-use development was being sought there.

The rezoning follows the council’s decision to amend the city’s 2035 land use map to accommodate the development by Black Cap Halcyon, as well as potential future development of the adjoining We Energies land.

Tetzlaff said the rezoning would allow for the utility’s plan to see a corporate center created on its land.

The Prairie’s Edge subdivision, which would be on the east side of South Wisconsin Street just south of the We Energies property, would contain a variety of residential uses as well as some commercial property on 31 acres.

 While the overall parcel is 44 acres, Tony Polston, Black Cap’s founder and principal,  has said the firm will be developing 35.2 acres. The remainder will be public lands, including a trail system along the bluff, a gazebo and perhaps a staircase to the beach below the bluff.

The first phase of the project will be the middle of the subdivision, which will encompass a mix of eight single-family cottages, 156 apartments and commercial spaces.

The cottages in particular have generated a significant amount of interest from the public, Polston has told the city.

Polston said the retail spaces include the sales office for the development, a space with a patio that would be ideal for a niche restaurant, a health club that would serve not only the development but the greater community, and a site ideal for a shared workspace.

Other commercial spaces could be used for medical offices and services, he said.

Black Cap Halcyon — one of three firms that sought to develop the property, is expected to pay $2.26 million for the land. 



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