Pair of ‘upscale’ apartments proposed for downtown Waukesha
Alderman: Might help attract downtown grocery store

By Matt Masterson - Freeman Staff

August 20, 2014

WAUKESHA — A pair of “upscale” apartment buildings proposed for the downtown area in the city of Waukesha took an early step toward becoming reality Monday night.

The city’s Redevelopment Authority approved plans for the two buildings — one on the 200 block of West Main Street and another at the southeast corner of Corrina Boulevard and Buckley Street — which would add a combined 84 new apartments.

The plans were submitted by Sterling Investments.
 

A second phase of apartments in the Main Street Plaza project will begin construction
if plans are approved.

Submitted rendering


A rendering of a proposed high-end apartment development at the corner of
Corrina Boulevard and Buckley Street.
Submitted rendering

Waukesha Community Development Specialist Jeff Fortin said the Main Street location would be called the Plaza II — after the nearby Plaza Apartments — in the former Panos Fresh Market parking lot and an adjacent vacant lot.

Fortin said the building would be four stories tall, featuring 54 apartment units, and would have retail in the front.

“They should be pretty nice, upscale apartments down there,” he said.

According to Fortin, the Corrina Boulevard building — also projected at four stories high — would be the smaller of the two, featuring only 30 rooms, but the units would be larger and many will have a view of the Fox River.


Waukesha Alderman and Redevelopment Authority member Roger Patton said the apartments could do more than just bring more people into the city.

A second phase of apartments in the Main Street Plaza project will begin
construction if plans are approved. 

Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

“We will never get a grocery store until we have more people living downtown,” he said. “This will help that — this may bring our grocery store back to us.”

Patton, who lives at Avalon Square Senior Housing in Waukesha, said the facility buses its residents to a grocery store in the suburbs once per week because there is no other option within walking distance.

“We should not have to do that,” he said.

Fortin said it is more than just the residents of Avalon who want a downtown grocery store.

The lot on the left is the site for a proposed high-end apartment development at the corner of Corrina Boulevard and Buckley Street.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

He said a market study done as part of the city’s Central City Master Plan found a grocery store was one of the most commonly requested stores downtown from city residents. Panos Fresh Market had fulfilled that role, until it relocated to Sunset Drive in November because it had lost access to its former parking lot.

“You are not going to get a big, full-service grocery store downtown,” Fortin said. “But with the addition of more density, more people living downtown, you would be able to attract a smaller-scale grocery store.”

With the Redevelopment Authority’s blessing, the building projects are now headed to the Plan Commission within the next month or two for both site and architectural plan reviews.

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