Cedarburg Common Council unanimously approves apartments rezoning

March 14th, 2017 by

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By: Tom Daykin

 

1

A Cedarburg Common Council vote to rezone the development is a big step forward for a proposal to build apartments near St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church. (Photo: AG Architecture)

A proposal to develop apartments next to Cedarburg’s historic downtown is taking a big step forward after the Common Council voted unanimously to rezone the development site.

The council’s Monday night decision sets the stage for HSI Properties LLC’s proposal to develop 69 apartments near the historic St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church. The council vote follows last week’s Plan Commission recommendation to approve the rezoning.

HSI still needs to obtain council approval for its detailed plans and a traffic study, said Jon Censky, city planner. But those reviews will occur without additional public hearings, Censky said Tuesday.

HSI wants to begin construction this year.

The proposal, known as Arrabelle, would feature a pair of three-story apartment buildings constructed behind the church, on the former parish school site between Washington Ave. and Hamilton Road. Those buildings would have 32 and 28 units.

The former school, along with the former church rectory, would be demolished after the parish sells those properties to HSI.

A third apartment building, with nine two-story townhouse units, would be across Hamilton Road from the church, on what is now a parking lot.

Opponents say the development, reduced from 87 units, remains too large for the neighborhood, which mainly has two-story houses. Supporters say the $16 million to $18 million development would provide Cedarburg’s empty-nesters with a new place to live and generate property tax revenue.

View Article


HSI Properties scales back size of Cedarburg multifamily development

February 6th, 2017 by

BizTimes

By: Corrinne Hess

Brookfield-based development firm HSI Properties has scaled back its plans for an apartment development in Cedarburg’s historic district after hearing residents’ and the common council’s lukewarm reception to the original plan in November.

Arrabelle 2

Rendering of Arrabelle townhome in Cedarburg

The new proposal to develop three apartment buildings near St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, one of the Cedarburg’s most recognizable historic buildings, is about 30 percent less dense than what was originally proposed; now totaling 69 units instead of 98, according to plans submitted to the city.

The development, called Arrabelle, includes keeping the existing St. Francis Borgia Church, 375 Covered Bridge Road, and its 40 parking stalls intact and razing the existing school on the property.

One of the major changes to the project is reducing the size of a three-story, 28-unit apartment building to a two-story townhouse building with nine-units.

A second two- and three-story building includes 32 units and a third two- and three-story building would have 28 units.

Tony DeRosa, executive vice president with HSI Properties, believes the reception to the new plan will be favorable.

“These are beautiful buildings and housing for the people of Cedarburg,” DeRosa said. “This will appeal to empty nesters, snow birds and people who live here but no longer want the burden of owning a home.”

The one and two-bedroom units will rent for $1,200 to $2,000 a month. This would be the first apartment project in Cedarburg in at least 15 years, DeRosa said.

“There is a huge supply and demand imbalance not being met here,” DeRosa said. “A lot of people have asked what this compares to in the community, but there is nothing like this in Cedarburg. What I love about this property is its proximity to downtown Cedarburg. The walkability and location make it a unique appeal to the demographic that will live here.”

The plan commission will discuss the proposed rezoning for the project on March 6. A public hearing will be held March 13 on the changes at the Community Center Gym, W63 N641 Washington Ave.

View Article

 


Apartment plans reduced in scope

January 31st, 2017 by

Ozaukee Now

By: Thomas Conroy

Arrabelle

( Photo: HSI Properties)

CITY OF CEDARBURG - Plans for an apartment complex on the site of St. Francis Borgia Church on Hamilton Road and Washington Avenue have been scaled back.

It has been more than two months since HSI Properties presented the Cedarburg Common Council with the original plans for a multifamily housing development of three, three-story buildings made up of 89 units. Since then, after pushback from residents in the vicinity and discussions by the council and plan commission, HSI Properties submitted revised plans for the development that will be reviewed by the plan commission March 6.

The new plans call for 69 total units, bringing the overall density down to 18.2 units per acre. Residents were concerned that the previous plans called for 26.2 units per acre, exceeding the city’s zoning and land use plan of 16.1 acres allowed in high-density areas. Some residents, while supportive of a development on the site, were also weary of the proposed three-story buildings. The revised plans now call for two-story sections of the development.

A Jan. 30 council meeting was highlighted by several members of the community who voiced their opinions on not only the development, but the means by which the city and the council have handled the process.

Local teacher Vera Brissman spoke on behalf of Friends of Historic Cedarburg, a group that has criticized the development, displaying “Vote No” signs on their front lawns. Brissman criticized the council for referring to them as the “opposition” and implored them to heed the concerns of the community.

According to Brissman, the Friends of Historic Cedarburg want to make sure that any new developments fit into the visual identity of Cedarburg without compromising the historic district.

“We may not be able to stop this project completely, but we want people in Cedarburg to know that this affects everyone,” said Brassman, who also voiced concerns about how the new development would affect roads and traffic in the area

View Article

 


Decision delayed on Cedarburg apartments plan

November 15th, 2016 by

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By: Tom Daykin

rectory

The former rectory for St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church would be removed from Cedarburg’s historic district and razed to make way for an apartment development under plans pending before city officials. (Photo: Tom Daykin / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A decision has been delayed until next month on a planned apartment development that would change the borders of Cedarburg’s longstanding historic district.

The Common Council voted Monday night to postpone action on a proposal to develop three apartment buildings, totaling 87 units, near St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, one of Cedarburg’s best-known historic buildings.

That decision came after developer HSI Properties LLC presented revised plans at the meeting, Mayor Kip Kinzel said Tuesday. The changes included removing two units from the project, and reducing portions of the buildings’ heights, he said.

Council members asked HSI to return with revised plans based on comments from Monday night’s public hearing, Kinzel said. The council’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12.

An HSI executive couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Supporters say the apartment buildings would provide Cedarburg’s empty nesters with a new place to live and generate property tax revenue for the city and its school district.

Opponents say the three-story, 44-foot buildings would be too tall and have too many apartments for the 3.5-acre site, which is surrounded mainly by two-story homes.

They also say the project would create a troubling precedent for changing the historic district’s boundaries.

Two apartment buildings would be constructed behind the church, on the former parish school site between Washington Ave. and Hamilton Road. The former school would be demolished. Built in 1951, and replaced last year by a new school in the Town of Cedarburg, it is just outside the historic district.

HSI also would demolish the former church rectory, a vacant bungalow built in the 1920s. The 146-year-old church would remain within the historic district and continue to operate, but the former rectory would be removed from the district.

A third apartment building would be across Hamilton Road from the church, on what is now a parking lot.

There are plans for an apartment development in Cedarburg that call for removing a building from the city’s historic district so it can be demolished.

Each building would have around 30 apartments, with monthly rents of roughly $1,200 to $2,000. If the $16 million to $18 million development obtains city approval, HSI would likely begin construction by early summer, with the apartments completed by spring 2018.

The city’s land use plan calls for high-density housing at the site. A proposed land use plan amendment would allow more than 30 additional units at the site, and for the buildings to be higher than 35 feet.

The council voted to postpone action on that amendment. Council members also postponed action on whether to rezone the site and whether to remove the former rectory from the historic district.

The historic district, created in 1986, helped efforts to preserve buildings throughout downtown Cedarburg that now house stores, restaurants, bed and breakfast inns and other businesses that draw visitors.

HSI and its supporters say the rectory is in poor shape and doesn’t have significant architectural or historic value.

View article


Cedarburg historic district faces changes

November 12th, 2016 by

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By: Tom Daykin

cedarburg

Three apartment buildings, totaling 89 units, would be developed near St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Cedarburg under a proposal pending before the Common Council. The proposal includes removing the church’s former rectory from the city’s historic preservation district.(Photo: AG Architecture)

Cedarburg — In the mid-1980s, Cedarburg officials created a historic preservation district that covers dozens of 19th century buildings that now house shops, restaurants, a winery, bed and breakfast inns and other businesses.

Now, city officials are reviewing plans for a new apartment community that would be built on the historic district’s edge — while changing district borders in order to demolish an older building.

Supporters say the three proposed apartment buildings totaling 89 units would provide Cedarburg’s empty nesters with a new place to live and generate property tax revenue for the city and its school district. Opponents say the three-story buildings would be too tall and have too many apartments for the 3.5-acre site.

They also say the project would create a troubling precedent for changing the historic district’s boundaries.

“Once people see how you go about removing something from a historic district, I could see other developers using the same tactic,” said Tom Kubala, a city Landmarks Commission member.

The Landmarks Commission voted 4-1 to recommend that the building targeted for demolition remain within the historic district.

But the Plan Commission voted unanimously to recommend changing the district’s borders to remove the building, a 1920s-era bungalow that served as the rectory for St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church. The hilltop church, which overlooks downtown, would remain within the district.

“We didn’t feel there was any architectural merit to keeping (the former rectory),” said Mark Burgoyne, Plan Commission vice chairman.

The Common Council, at its Monday night meeting, will consider removing the building from the historic district. The council will consider two other measures: changing the city’s comprehensive land use plan to allow a taller development with more housing units at the site and rezoning the site for an apartment project.

HSI Properties LLC wants to develop the apartments near St. Francis Borgia, one of Cedarburg’s best-known historic buildings. The parish would sell the development site to HSI, but keep the 146-year-old church.

Two apartment buildings would be constructed behind the church, on the former parish school site between Washington Ave. and Hamilton Road. The former school would be demolished. Built in 1951, and replaced last year by a new school in the Town of Cedarburg, it is just outside the historic district.

A third apartment building would be across Hamilton Road from the church, on what is now a parking lot.

Each building would have around 30 apartments, with monthly rents of roughly $1,200 to $2,000, said Tony DeRosa, HSI executive vice president. The project would have both underground and surface lot parking.

If the $16 million to $18 million development obtains city approval, HSI would likely begin construction by early summer, with the 89 apartments completed by spring 2018, DeRosa said.

An online petition opposing the development, organized by neighborhood residents, has attracted support from more than 500 people, including some who don’t live in Cedarburg, said Aaron Schultz, who’s helping lead the effort.

Opponents say the proposed building heights of 44 feet are the equivalent of four-story structures, even though the apartment buildings would each have three levels. That’s out of character for the surrounding neighborhood of mainly two-story homes, according to the petition.

The city’s land use plan calls for high-density housing at the site, said Jon Censky, city planner. The proposed land use plan amendment would allow 35 additional units at the site, and for the buildings to be higher than 35 feet, he said.

Also, opponents are raising concerns about removing the former rectory from the historic district. The petition says the historic district is a big part of Cedarburg’s appeal to both residents and visitors, and that changing the district’s borders would create “lasting negative impacts.”

“If you take away one property like this, what would be next?” said neighborhood resident Bill Bujanovich.

Cedarburg’s longstanding preservation efforts help attract visitors to its downtown shops and other businesses, Bujanovich said.

“I think it’s just really important to recognize what has become the economic base of our community,” he said.

Those preservation efforts date to 1966.

That’s when St. Francis Borgia parish proposed demolishing its stone church, built in 1870, and developing a larger church for the growing congregation. Former Mayor E. Stephan Fischer  successfully returned to office on a promise to block the demolition plans.

Mayor Fischer later prevented a similar fate for Wittenberg Mill, built in 1864 on Cedar Creek. Work began In 1972 to convert the mill into Cedar Creek Settlement, which now features Cedar Creek Winery, shops and restaurants.

By the time Fischer left office in 1982, several businesses had opened in preserved buildings. Downtown was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, with the city creating its historic preservation district in 1986.

The historic district is important, said Burgoyne, a longtime Plan Commission member. And including the rectory within the district perhaps made sense 30 years ago, he said.

But the building, last used as a child care center, is now vacant, Burgoyne said.

HSI would use the former rectory’s lot to provide parking for church members, DeRosa said. He said the building is in bad shape and it’s not financially feasible to renovate the property.

Kubala, of the Landmarks Commission, said the former rectory is still a valuable building for the historic district.

“The fact that the church and rectory go together is critical,” he said.

View article