Developers want to renovate
a century-old brewery, above, into a microbrewery and
restaurant, below, at the corner of Mequon Road and Buntrock Avenue.
Photo by Mark Justesen
MEQUON — A year
from now, you should be able to tip a glass and celebrate
Oktoberfest at the renovated 1857-era brewery along Mequon Road.
the ambitious Foxtown project – expected to be built in phases on
the south side of Mequon Road in the city’s Town Center – received
unanimous approval from the Planning Commission Oct. 9 for the
concept plan and rezoning.
allows the $50 million project to clear another significant hurdle
as it advances toward reality on a nearly 14-acre parcel described
now as being “essentially blighted.”
architect Stephen P. Smith told commissioners developers hope to
break ground on the first phase by spring and have the restored,
two-story brewery open for business in time for Oktoberfest.
“This is a
phenomenal-looking project. Thank you for your interest in doing
this in Mequon,” said Alderman John Wirth, who represents the Common
Council on the Planning Commission.
project is considered the third major project in the Mequon Town
Center, which is anchored by the first phase at the corner of Mequon
and Cedarburg roads. The district stretches west along Mequon Road
and includes the planned Spur 16 development on the now-vacant city
Public Works property. Several large apartment developments are also
in the area.
In addition to
the first-phase sit-down restaurant and brewery, plans for Foxtown
96 residential apartments
A mixed-use retail center
A three-story project that will include retail and office space, as
well as extended-stay apartments
21 single-family lots that will be developed as “porchhome”
condominiums. The units, patterned after a development in
Libertyville, Ill., will be priced at about $500,000. The developer
is Lakeside Development.
team includes several individuals with longtime business ties to
Mequon. Many in the group recently proposed raising funds for a
community project that would remake much of the nearby civic campus,
including upgrades to the city’s swimming pool and adjacent Rennicke
are: Thomas Nieman, Fromm Family Foods; Robert Bach, P2 Development;
John Graham, Real Estate Advisors; Tom Zabjek and Scott Humber,
Lakeside Development; Gordon Goggins, restaurateur; Gregg Thompson,
Thompson Project Management; Rinka Chung Architects; Thomas
Mortenson, R.A. Smith National, project landscape architect; and
Smith, the project architect.
timeline discussed with the Planning Commission, it’s likely
development of the apartments will come next. Construction could
begin by this coming spring as well. It’s anticipated the entire
project will be completed in four to six years, Smith said.
“It all depends
on the market,” he said. “We feel very confident; we just need to
along Mequon Road and adjacent Industrial Drive will result in the
demolition of several existing buildings, including the former bus
terminal, Schmitt Ready Mix and Gateway Forms.
lumber shed and brewery building will be renovated as part of the
overall project. As part of the plan, Industrial Drive would be
widened and on-street parking would be included.
president of Telsmith Inc., a manufacturer of mining equipment
located just to the south of the planned development on Industrial
Drive, spoke during the meeting. He commended everyone’s effort in
putting together the project and voiced concern that the
condominiums would be located adjacent to Telsmith.
“We are a little
bit noisy at times,” he said. “We want to be good neighbors … we
want to work with everyone as we move this project forward.”
Smith said he is
enthusiastic about the project and the individuals who are behind
optimists here,” he said. “You have local stakeholders here who are
committed to seeing this through. Tom Nieman is the visionary on
this project – and we’re very confident this project will be a
gets a thumbs-up