$9.3-million apartment complex planned for Mequon
High-end apartments part of the Town Center development

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Oct. 15, 2015

 The 33-unit apartment complex proposed for Mequon would be located near the southeast corner of Mequon Road and Buntrock Avenue in Mequon.
Submitted rendering

MEQUON — Plans for additional high-end apartments in the Mequon Town Center neighborhood took a step forward with Monday’s unanimous endorsement by the city’s Planning Commission.

Dermond Property Investments wants to build 33 apartments in an L-shaped building at 11130 N. Buntrock Ave. The developer already owns the property just behind the old brewery building on the southeast corner of Mequon Road and Buntrock Avenue.

“We have owned the parcel since 2008 – and we feel now is a good time to develop it,” said Nora J. Pecor, chief financial officer for the Milwaukee-based company. The project is expected to cost more than $9.3 million to develop and generate $118,137 in annual property taxes, according to a statement of intent that the developer provided to the city.

The development would include 17 one-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom apartments and four units with three bedrooms. The average apartment size would be 1,231 square feet.

Some of the units would be smaller than a 1,000square-foot minimum requirement, but city staff recommended a waiver.

“The smaller units will provide a product for an underserved market in Mequon, as well as provide a diversity of unit types in the complex,” Jac Zader, the city’s assistant director of community development, wrote in a memo to the Planning Commission.

The Town Center project at Mequon and Cedarburg roads also included an exemption on the 1,000-square-foot size for 30 percent of the units, although that developer ultimately decided to build all of the units bigger than the minimum, Zader added.

The apartment building will include 63 parking spaces intended for residents and guests; the majority of the parking will be underground.

Zader said that city staff and the developer made significant efforts to make the building attractive and also to preserve several large nearby trees. Pecor said she believes that keeping those trees will enhance the project.

“We worked with the applicant long and hard on this process,” said Zader, adding that the proposed location of the building was moved to accommodate trees and provide more of a buffer from Mequon Road.

The anticipated monthly rent for the apartments will range from $1,425 for a one-bedroom unit with one bath to $3,000 a month for a three-bedroom unit with two baths, the developer said.

Pecor added that Dermond will be a local, hands-on manager of the apartments once they are built. She said they now manage two apartment complexes in Milwaukee, still own a variety of rehabilitated properties in Milwaukee and intend to manage a 107-unit apartment complex it is now building in Green Bay.

During a discussion that preceded the vote to approve rezoning and a concept plan, Planning Commission members generally praised the project, although several members said they would like to see more brick used on the sides of the building that do not face Buntrock Avenue.

Pamela Fuhry-Adams, a Common Council member who also serves on the Planning Commission, said she is pleased that a developer with the “excellent reputation” of Dermond is proposing a project in the city. She added that she would like to see the brick theme on the front of the building carried through to the other sides.

She said later that the development of apartments is “a new phenomenon for Mequon.” She said she hopes that the people who are attracted to the community put down more permanent roots in the city after renting for a while.

The Mequon Common Council will consider the rezoning and concept plan in November.

Gary Achterberg can be reached at gachterberg@conleynet.com.