Three-story clinic proposed
Facility would be built near planned Children’s Hospital clinic in Mequon

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Sept. 3, 2015

A proposed 86,000-square-foot medical office building at the intersection of North Port Washington Road and Venture Court in Mequon could open by the end of 2016. 
Submitted drawing  

MEQUON — A proposed medical clinic that will be one of the largest buildings in Mequon cleared initial hurdles Monday and earned praise from several members of the city’s Planning Commission.

The three-story, 86,000-square-foot building will be located on the east side of North Port Washington Road at Venture Court. It will use land now occupied by a small shopping center that includes the Wooden Goose restaurant and a vacant lot to the north.

The developer is Ryan Companies, which also is building a large Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin clinic at Mequon Road and Market Street. A Ryan site representative said he cannot yet disclose the tenant.

Commissioners voted 5-3 to approve rezoning for the parcel, which was necessary because the proposed size is larger than the normal 20,000-square-foot maximum. They also approved the concept plan for the building and site. Commissioners LeRoy Bessler, Becky Schaefer and James Schaeffer voted no.

“This is a very desired project for our city,” said Mayor Dan Abendroth, who chairs the Planning Commission, in brief remarks prior to the vote. He added that there are some specifics – like lighting and building materials – that need to be worked out as the plan advances.

The project will return to the Planning Commission in October for consideration of architecture and the final site plan. The developers want to break ground in spring and occupy the building by late next year.

Commissioner Brian Parrish said he was excited to hear about the proposed project.

“We can be a medical hub,” he said. “It does seem consistent with what we have been and are trying to accomplish.”

Portions of the building would be three stories, while one area that would accommodate rehabilitation facilities would be two stories. Parking surrounds the building. An existing wetland is incorporated as a feature near the front entrance.

Curt Pascoe, an engineer who is a site development manager for Ryan Companies based in Naperville, Ill., said medical facilities are choosing Mequon because it provides a prominent, easily accessible location that is away from their central hospital campus.

While the proposal received generally positive comments from commissioners, others spoke against the new facility.

Commissioner Becky Schaefer said she does not like the size and is concerned about the impact the project will have on a neighbor.

“I don’t think I can support it,” she said. “I struggle with the sheer mass of the project.”

Scott A. Nyholm, who operates Nyholm & Associates, an accounting firm on Venture Court that would be immediately next to the project, said the clinic will have a significant negative effect on his property value, as well as the fabric of Mequon.

“They didn’t mention a damn thing of what they’re doing to protect my property,” he said, as he spoke to commissioners immediately after the developers made their presentation.

Nyholm said a recent survey of Mequon residents indicates they don’t want big-footprint buildings. He added he does not believe there is a need for additional medical facilities in the area. He said Columbia St. Mary’s, Aurora and – soon – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin all will have a presence within blocks of the proposed clinic.

“How many of you would like a 56-foot building to be built 15 feet from your backyard?” he asked the commissioners.

At 86,000 square feet, the building is more than twice the size of the 42,500square-foot Children’s Hospital clinic that is expected to open in 2016. For sake of comparison, the nearby Metro Market grocery store is about 60,000 square feet.

The project has an estimated value of $21 million. Jac Zader, the city’s assistant director of community development, said he expects it will be on the property tax rolls. If it is not, he said the city will collect the equivalent of the property taxes through a PILOT, an agreement of a Payment In Lieu of Taxes.


Wooden Goose to migrate

MEQUON — Owners of the Wooden Goose, a popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, said Tuesday they plan to relocate this winter, regardless of what happens with the medical office project proposed for their property.

Andrew Schuster, the manager of Wooden Goose, 11402 N. Port Washington Road, said the restaurant will relocate late this year or early next year. They are moving to the building now occupied by Gigi of Mequon, a bridal shop at 1550 N. Mequon Road.

Schuster said he works at the restaurant along with his father, Robert Schuster, who is the owner.

Brian Parrish, a member of the Mequon Planning Commission, estimated Tuesday the construction of the medical center will mean that approximately 22,000 square feet of office space and an additional 22,000 square feet of retail space will need to move to make way for the project.

He said that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because there are a number of vacant retail and office properties in the city.

-Gary Achterberg

Gary Achterberg can be reached at