An enthusiastic thumbs-up
Mequon Planning Commission praises Spur 16 plans

By Gary Achterberg

June 14, 2018

St. Paul Fish Co., which will be housed in a historic building as part of the Spur 16 project, will be identified with an old-fashioned paint job on the smokestack.
Submitted drawing

MEQUON — Final plans for the three historic buildings along Mequon Road that will be part of the Spur 16 development got rave reviews from Mequon Planning Commission members Monday.

“I absolutely love it. It’s perfect for the site,” said Commissioner John Stoker. “And I love the ‘St. Paul’ on the smokestack – it’s awesome.”

As part of a discussion that led to unanimous approval of the building and site plans for the three buildings in the 6300 block of West Mequon Road, Stoker was reacting to a concept drawing for the building.

Cindy Shaffer, developer of Spur 16, said she anticipates all three of the renovated buildings will open for business in November.

St. Paul Fish Co., which already has a location in the Milwaukee Public Market on the south edge of downtown Milwaukee, will occupy the 5,400-square-foot Ross Wells building, which is recognizable by its large smokestack.

Jac Zader, Mequon’s assistant director of Community Development, updated commissioners on the final building and site plans. He added he wanted their informal opinion on the signage for St. Paul

Fish Co., which he said would return later for action.

“It makes it look old and somewhat traditional with the painted lettering,” he said. “I think there is a nice synergy between the different buildings in the development.”

The 200-seat St. Paul Fish Co. is being opened by Tim Collins, whose family recently moved to Mequon. “We really like the developer and we like the building and we like the area,” Collins said earlier this year when the restaurant’s addition to Spur 16 was announced. “It’s really a neat old building; it has a lot of character.”

Shaffer also discussed details of the Mequon Public Market, which will house approximately 10 vendors in the 10,900-square-foot large public works building just to the west of the smokestack building.

Already-announced vendors include Café Corazon, Purple Door Ice Cream, Beans & Barley and Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. The remaining vendors will be announced soon.

Zader said the vendors will be located on the ground floor of the building and additional seating will be available on a second-level mezzanine. There will be outdoor seating and a stage area for concerts. Much of the historic character of the building will be preserved. The existing overhead doors will be replaced with glass windows.

“Overall, we feel they’ve done a real nice job on this building,” he said.

The third building to receive building and site plan approval Monday is the small public works building, which will house studios for yoga and Pilates, along with office space. Specific tenants have not been announced.

“The proposed design maintains the historical character of the building by keeping the existing brick and architectural details intact,” Zader wrote in a memo to the Planning Commission.

In addition to the three buildings discussed Monday, Spur 16 will include 10 townhomes, which are expected to be complete in January. An additional 146 apartments in three buildings will be completed in the spring and summer of 2019.

The Common Council selected Shaffer from a pool of applicants to develop the roughly 14-acre parcel on the north side of Mequon Road between the railroad tracks and Buntrock Avenue. She paid $1 and a $60,000 fee related to the property brokers for the site. The fully developed property is expected to have a $26.1 million value and generate $414,200 annually in city property taxes.

Alderman Rob Strzelczyk, who sits on the Planning Commission, told Shaffer during the discussion that Alderman Pam Adams, who died in February 2017, was enthusiastic about selecting Shaffer, who was the only developer who proposed keeping the old buildings.

“Alderman Adams, I was wrong; you were right,” he said.

<<EARLIER: Beans & Barley coming to Spur 16