Neighborhood meeting set for Prospect Hill School redevelopment plan
Developers seek feedback on self-storage, commercial condominiums

By Hannah Weikel - Freeman Staff

Jan. 23, 2018

NEW BERLIN — Vacant with a history of vandalism, Prospect Hill Elementary School could soon be torn down and the site redeveloped — more than a decade after students last walked its halls.

A neighborhood meeting will be held Jan. 30 to discuss the property at 5330 Racine Avenue, which was purchased in December by VentureSpace LLC. The company’s owner will describe his plan to carve up the land for a self-storage facility and commercial condominiums.

Michael Frede, owner of VentureSpace, said he plans to sell half of the property to a self-storage company and use the other half to build affordable garage-like spaces that will be available for commercial use.

“The reason we are having a public meeting is because we like to get input and feedback from people living in the area. We want to be sensitive to people’s concerns and feedback can influence how our development would actually look,” Frede said. “We don’t want to be a thorn in people’s sides.”

New Berlin Community Development Director Greg Kessler said the development plan is still in its infancy, but the city wants Frede to have the opportunity to present his idea and to engage neighbors.

“The plans aren’t anything other than conceptual,” Kessler said, adding that the school — boarded up and full of asbestos — will have to be demolished.

Frede, along with Mayor Dave Ament and Alds. Ken Harenda and Keith Heun, will hold the public meeting at New Berlin City Hall, 3805 S. Casper Drive, on Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m.