Mequon medical center passes next hurdle
City officials praise developer’s response to design concerns

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Oct. 15, 2015

MEQUON — Development of a three-story medical office building continued to advance this week as the Mequon Planning Commission and Common Council approved revised plans for the building.

The Ryan Companies is proposing to build the clinic on the east side of North Port Washington Road at Venture Court on two existing lots, one of which now houses an aging retail complex best known for the Wooden Goose restaurant, which is relocating.

The developers, who also are building a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin clinic at Mequon Road and Market Street, said they cannot yet discuss the tenant for this building due to ongoing negotiations, but hope to soon.

After the Planning Commission advanced the plans unanimously Monday, the Common Council added its unanimous approval Tuesday after a brief discussion highlighted with positive comments about the project.

Ryan Co. representatives, along with their architect, returned to the Planning Commission Monday to outline a variety of design changes they have made since an initial presentation on the proposed 86,000-square-foot building in late August.

The changes include an increased setback between their property and an adjacent business on the back side, increasing the amount of brick, a slight reduction in the number of parking spaces, an increase in green space that now exceeds city requirements, additional landscaping, extending a public water main so it can be used by the neighboring property owner, adding the possibility for shared use of a storm water detention pond and widening an entrance.

“Overall, we’ve been pleased with the progress that’s been made since the last meeting,” Jac Zader, Mequon’s assistant director of community development, told the Planning Commission Monday.

Mayor Dan Abendroth said he appreciated how the developer took comments made by the Planning Commission to heart and made many of the suggested changes.

Two nearby property owners spoke, one in favor and one against.

Scott A. Nyholm, who owns Nyholm & Associates, an accounting firm on Venture Court that would be immediately next to the project, called it “a terrible project for Mequon.” He repeated objections he made to the Planning Commission in August.

“I would like to ask if Mequon is trying to phase out small businesses,” he said. “This is not going to increase the value of my property; it’s going to decrease it.”

He asked if the city was looking to just add big-box buildings. Nyholm said he fears runoff from the clinic’s parking lots will contaminate the well water he now uses at his business.

“I have clients who are looking to move out of the city of Mequon because they don’t like this project,” he said.

John Mikkelson of Mikkelson Builders, located just to the north of the proposed project, said he was pleased to see the changes made by the developers. He said he believes the project will increase his property value. He predicted it will generate jobs “that are great for our community.”

Commissioner Brian Parrish said he also liked the proposed changes and said the developers were “overly accommodating with the neighbor.” He said he believes that the project will attract families to the community.

Commissioner David Fuchs called the proposed changes “a definite improvement,” although he said he would prefer to see all of the brick on the building be the same color. He added it is a nice addition to the community.

He said it is another step toward making “Mequon a medical center of sorts in this part of the state – in time, that will be to our benefit.”

Gary Achterberg can be reached at