Architectural Commission discusses Fowler Lake

By Rachel Italiano - Special to the Enterprise

August 21, 2014

OCONOMOWOC — While the Architectural Commission gave a generally positive review during its Aug. 13 meeting of the proposed Fowler Lake Village condominium project, several questions and concerns also were raised.

The project was on the commission’s agenda for discussion purposes and the concerns raised included the use of accurate drawings, the inclusion in the plans of placeholders for signage, and issues with the materials used. Other concerns included operable windows, the use of clear glass, and lighting.

Fowler Lake Village is a nearly $19 million project that would be built at the corner of Pleasant Avenue and St. Paul Street behind City Hall. It will feature 104,000 square feet of total space split between living and retail with 31 condos. Restaurants, galleries, art studios, a boardwalk, and a green roof that captures runoff are all part of the plans.

The need for accurate drawings was stressed, as the project team for Fowler Lake Village stated in the meeting that the current drawings were deceptive.

Commission members also made several comments throughout the session.

Commission member Paul Schultz said that overall he likes the building, but is not crazy about the southern elevations.

Commission member Kurt Schrang also likes the building, but was worried it has a “too busy” feel to it and looks more like an office building instead of a residential building. The use of clear glass was discussed as a way to change that impression.

Commission member Paul Schmitter, who was not present at the meeting, sent a letter to be read concerning the Village. The letter said that although he supports the project, he was concerned about the contemporary design and little-detailed elevations. He also wrote that the design for Fowler Lake Village needs to be enriched.

During the discussion, the Fowler Lake Village project team outlined four concerns they want to address. First was respecting and complementing City Hall. Second was the nature of downtown. Third was the use of strollers in the road instead of on the path. They intend to correct that path. Last were the oil stains in the parking lot that are especially noticeable on rainy days. That is also something the project would seek to fix.