Milwaukee Ale House could be on horizon for Brennan’s Marketplace

By Josh Perttunen - Enterprise Staff

July 17, 2014

OCONOMOWOC - What could be on tap for the Brennan’s Marketplace development grew a little clearer at the Common Council’s meeting on Tuesday, when aldermen approved revisions to the site plans for the property.  

The move, which was recommended by the Plan Commission on July 9, could pave the way for a 8,400-square-foot Milwaukee Ale House restaurant and bar to move into one of the property’s other vacant lots, rather than the one that was originally approved in 2011.  

City Planner Jason Gallo said changes requested by developer Oliver Construction Co.  are such that that one of the larger proposed buildings for the site would be split into two smaller buildings, the smaller of which would now house the restaurant and bar.

Other changes were that the gateway identification feature - a ground sign and retaining wall at the corner of Valley Road and Summit Avenue - would be downsized to a terraced landscaping feature and a smaller sign. Also, the originally approved public plaza and sidewalk area was asked to be changed to a smaller concrete patio area.

A decorative grain silo still is planned to accompany the restaurant and will be moved along with it so that it is in a more prominent location.

Gallo expressed reservations about the downscaling of the gateway and public patio.

“These changes are specifically cutting back on the public amenities,” he said. “The original developer showed images of a large plaza ... with a fountain and an entry wall and signage feature that made a commanding presence at the corner. By removing these features, this development is reduced to a typical commercial development.”

The city had granted a certain level of flexibility to developers in 2007 in exchange for a higher level of public amenities on the site. Though Gallo’s report indicated it would still want such accommodations, it acknowledged why they may not be feasible.

“Staff understands the economy has changed since the initial approval of this development in 2007,” he said. “If the original plans were feasible, the development would be constructed. The proposed compromise for the the plaza and gateway signage is a step in the right direction.”

Gallo’s own recommendations for the property included that the fountain be added to the center of the proposed concrete patio and final details on the plaza and gateway come back to the plan commission for final approval.

As part of the move, the address of the proposed business is changing from 1680 Old Schoolhouse Road to 1686 Old Schoolhouse Road, located on the corner of Summit Avenue and Valley Road.