HARTLAND - A developer’s proposed revamp
of downtown Hartland received a nod of approval from a
panel Monday, but further steps in the review process
are still underway.
The village’s Joint Architectural Board
and Plan Commission recommended moving forward with
basic details of the proposed Riverwalk Apartments
complex, 208 E. Capitol Drive.
Developer Joe McCormick presented a
slightly pared-down version of his previous plans.
Initially, McCormick’s project entailed apartment
buildings encompassing 89 units. To address such
concerns as density, the plans have since been modified
to 77 units.
After their most recent review, the board
and commission backed the project in a big-picture
sense, including its location.
“The nuts and bolts, in essence, still
need to be worked out,” said Village President David
Lamerand, who chairs the Plan Commission.
McCormick touted Riverwalk as a project
that would breathe new life into Hartland’s downtown and
enhance access to the Bark River.
“This can revitalize the downtown and
bring people back down there,” McCormick said. “This
will attract more people downtown, rather than have
vacant storefronts. I would say (the current
configuration) is underutilized.”
To accommodate McCormick’s planned
development, an existing strip shopping center, Capitol
Plaza, would be razed. In its place would be one of
three buildings outlined in the Riverwalk apartment
project, and the first floor would include retail use.
Capitol Plaza still has some tenants and
does not suffer from sweeping vacancies. Members of the
two appointed bodies briefly discussed what would happen
to displaced retail and office operations within Capitol
Plaza at Monday’s meeting.
Village Administrator David Cox said
accommodations could be made to displaced tenants but
acknowledged, “We haven’t made any determinations with
According McCormick’s plans, all three
buildings would be designed to compliment the
architectural elements in the surrounding neighborhood.
Several nearby residents attended
Monday’s meeting and asked questions about the potential
increase in noise, lighting and traffic.
Members of the two appointed bodies did
scrutinize a few details - including parking spaces.
McCormick’s submitted plans include 133
spaces, but village officials are anticipating the
potential for 172 parking stalls during peak periods.
Seventy-four of the spaces would be in an underground
tunnel, and the balance would be surface parking.
While various specific details still need
to be hashed over, village officials have largely backed
the project - in part because it represents an
opportunity to bring a sizable development into the
heart of Hartland.
“Part of the concept here is to find ways
to bring people to live downtown,” Cox said. “We’re
looking at a dense, urban setting with a walkable
community where folks can go.”
The Village Board is expected to take up
the recommendation and hold a public hearing on the
Riverwalk apartments at its next meeting, scheduled for
7 p.m. Dec. 22.