Arrabelle design nearing approval
Design focuses on ‘blending’

By Alison Henderson - News Graphic Staff

June 29, 2017

Pictured are one of two three-story buildings in the Arrabelle development, as seen from Washington Avenue south of downtown Cedarburg and the St. Francis Borgia Church.
Renderings courtesy of HSI Development

CEDARBURG — A more concrete image of Arrabelle is forming as architectural designs for the 69-unit multifamily development faced Cedarburg Plan Commission review Monday.

The two apartment buildings, nine townhomes and single-family lot will surround St. Francis Borgia Church at the corner of Washington Avenue and Hamilton Road in Cedarburg’s historic downtown. The project was green-lighted in March when the Common Council unanimously approved rezoning and land use plan amendments at a meeting that drew hundreds of attendees.

Project leaders, HSI Properties and AG Architecture, will now need several approvals from the Plan Commission, which has final authority over the architectural, landscaping, site and stormwater management details.

The proposed design includes a subdued color palette; brick, cobblestone and pewter materials; and roof step-downs and elevation considerations to minimize height in some areas.

“It’s not a matter of ‘we’re here,’ it’s a matter of ‘Cedarburg’s here’ and we want this to blend in,” said Eric Harrmann of AG Architecture.

Two-story townhouses will be located on Hamilton Road.
Renderings courtesy of HSI Development

The developers said the design incorporated much of the feedback provided by the city and community. Since the project was introduced last August as three, three-story buildings totaling 98 units, many residents expressed concerns over height, density, aesthetic and overall impact on Cedarburg, especially in an area of two-story, single-family homes.

Growing opposition led to “Vote No” yard signs, lengthy public hearings, plan revisions and petitions that required a supermajority vote for council approval.

“Over the past few months we’ve continued to evolve the course of the project. We’ve digested feedback and directions on all buildings … all showed a substantial value as we were going through this design process,” said Tony W. DeRosa of HSI Properties.

Commissioner deliberations Monday included specific architectural qualities, such as railing and brick colors and roof pitch, but seemed to agree that it was “close.”

“I think the design is very positive and is similar to a lot of the architecture in the neighborhood,” commission member Mark Burgoyne said.

Ultimately, the commission did not vote on the design but suggested several changes, including a higher roof pitch and window alterations.

“One of the biggest concerns (has been) height and I would caution the commission that it was a big deal for us,” Council Member Jack Arnett said about increasing the roof pitch.

The developers are expected back with the revised designs at the July 13 Plan Commission meeting, where a vote will likely take place.

Arrabelle is targeted to empty-nesters, snowbirds and baby boomers, with monthly rent ranging between $1,000 and $2,000. It promises higher-end amenities and services like dry cleaning and dog-walking.

When asked about a timeline, DeRosa noted that while several components are still in the works, the goal is to get started as soon as possible and estimated a mid- to late-fall or early-winter start.

<<EARLIER: Its name is Arrabelle