Grafton to get $17 million makeover
Housing, retail planned for former lumberyard site

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Correspondent

Feb. 10, 2015

The parcel just south of Beech Street and west of Wisconsin Avenue is slated for a major development, potentially beginning as early as this summer.  
Photo by Mark Justesen

GRAFTON — Grafton’s downtown redevelopment efforts took a major step forward with the formal announcement of plans for the former lumberyard property.

This “downtown redevelopment project will bring new residents and businesses into the heart of the community,” said Grafton Village President Jim Brunnquell in a statement.

Mequon-based Shaffer Development is proposing a $17million mixed-use project for the 4-acre property at 1505 Wisconsin Ave. The proposed development will be completed in two phases. The first phase will include a 41unit residential building along the northern edge of the property on Beech Street and a mixed-used building on Wisconsin Avenue with 10,000 square feet of retail space and 18 residential units. The second phase of the project is projected to include an additional 72 residential units and between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet of commercial space.

“The size of the parcel and the number of related parking stalls for both retail/hospitality customers and renters will ultimately dictate the number of residential units,” said Grafton Village Administrator Darrell Hofland.

The targeted property is located just west of Wisconsin Avenue and Beech Street.  
Photo by Mark Justesen

The village of Grafton has established a target ratio of single family, two-family and multi-family housing. During the past decade, the village has limited new multi-family developments to bring the mix closer to this target ratio. However, projects in two redevelopment areas, downtown Grafton and the south commercial district, are exempt from this limitation.

Shaffer Development has met with several potential retail clients, but has not made a formal announcement regarding development tenants. Potential tenants include a coffee shop/restaurant, a financial institution, a hair salon and a dental practice. Shaffer Development’s most recent project is the Mequon Town Center, currently under development on the corner of Mequon and Cedarburg roads.

The village of Grafton has focused on this parcel for redevelopment during the past few years, and the village’s Community Development Authority voted unanimously to sell the property to Shaffer Development for $1.

The village of Grafton and Shaffer Development are working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to secure brownfields grants for the site. During the due diligence process in acquiring the final 2.2 acres, the village discovered soil contamination issues, which will need to be remediated prior to the start of development.

The development is scheduled to break ground in summer 2015, with site occupancy expected in summer 2016.