A Waukesha development partnership has begun construction on a $6.5 million condominium and commercial development on North Oakland Avenue in Shorewood.
The development, being undertaken by a joint venture of The Metropolitan Group, Waukesha, and Spectrum Development, Wauwatosa, will include 10,000 square feet of retail space and 24 two-bedroom condominiums in a four-story, 52,500-square-foot building. It is called The Metropolitan, and it’s being built at the intersection of Kensington Boulevard and Oakland Avenue, in the midst of Shorewood’s commercial district.
Dan Genzel, a partner in The Metropolitan Group, said the developers believed there was a need for a mixed-use project in Shorewood.
“We felt there would be demand for a new condominium project that would really be the anchor of downtown Shorewood,” he said. “It is a good location in a good area of the city. We are very confident it will be very successful.”
Genzel said The Metropolitan Group has several letters of intent from tenants for the retail space. He declined to identify the potential tenants, but previously development officials have said a bank or other smaller specialty retail stores were likely tenants.
Four of the condominiums, which are priced starting at $254,900, have already been reserved, he said. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2004.
“The response to the project so far has been very good,” he said.
Parking structure considered
In response to the project, Shorewood is studying whether to build a $1.8 million parking structure on North Oakland Avenue. Village officials are also considering putting retail or commercial space on the ground floor of the parking structure or possibly locating the village’s police station there.
Ed Madere, Shorewood village manager, said village officials were reviewing the cost and project plans to determine if there were any less expensive options. He said he expected a final decision to be made by the Shorewood Village Board by the end of the year.
Genzel said the parking structure was important to The Metropolitan Group.
“We’ve been promised a certain number of parking spots for our development, but they could be in the surface lot or the new parking structure,” he said. “We just feel that a new parking structure would be a good addition to the neighborhood and help in the revitalization of the area.”
Shorewood spent about $600,000 on buying the lots, relocating the businesses from the properties and then demolishing the buildings in order to prepare the site for future development. The village also spent $3.6 million on street improvements, new sidewalks, new lights and other streetscape features along Oakland between Capitol Drive and the border with Whitefish Bay.
The funding was provided through an existing tax incremental financing district. In a TIF, the municipality borrows funds to help install streets and sewer and then uses the increase in taxes prompted by the redevelopment to repay the borrowing.