WisDOT proposing ‘first of its kind’ commuter station in Delafield
Development at Nagawaukee park-and-ride would include retail

By Dave Fidlin - Special to The Freeman

August 31, 2018

DELAFIELD — While a number of specifics still need fleshing out, Delafield could be the first Wisconsin community to host a proposed commuter station for passengers using park-and-ride lots.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which oversees park-and-rides across the state for motorists using busing for mass transit, has approached city officials with a proposed building of about 5,000 square feet at its Nagawaukee lot off Golf Road.

WisDOT officials went before the city Plan Commission on Wednesday to revisit the proposal, which was initially discussed a year ago. Commissioners did not take any formal action, though most of the members were receptive to the plan in concept.

Frank Furdek, transportation analyst with Wis-DOT, said the state agency is not planning to oversee the project. A developer, who would receive a contract through a bidding process, instead would handle the task and receive oversight of the day-to-day operations of the site.

Other than mapping out where the structure would be placed on the lot — the easternmost portion — renderings of the facility have yet to be produced. Furdek said the developer would handle such details as exterior and interior design elements and related issues.

“Our goal is to enhance transportation,” Furdek said. “This concept is something that hasn't been done in the state.”

Mayor Kent Atwell, who chairs the Plan Commission, said he was concerned about the process of approving a project before renderings have been furnished.

“We're not developers,” Furdek responded.

Conceptually, the proposed site would have a retail component in addition to other features, including an indoor waiting area for park-and-ride users waiting for buses.

Previous discussions included accommodations for a drive-thru. On Wednesday, commissioners said they desired a tenant mix beyond restaurants.

“We're really looking for a commuter service station — not a food court,” said Alderman Tim Aicher, who serves on the Plan Commission.

Before any construction takes place, the commission and Common Council will undertake further reviews and, ultimately, make a motion on the proposal. A timeline for the next steps was not etched in stone at Wednesday's meeting.

City Planner Roger Dupler said he was not prepared to offer a recommendation on WisDOT's proposal as submitted, but he was optimistic that an agreement could eventually be reached.

Automotive specialty shop

Also on Wednesday, commissioners gave a favorable recommendation to site plan and architectural details for a proposed automotive specialty shop envisioned for land at 710 Milwaukee St.

Applicant Michael Drees said he plans to construct a building on the 7,200-square-foot lot, most of which is currently vacant. The new facility is aimed at complimenting a nearby American Classic restoration shop.

Drees' plans also entail razing a garage on the southerly portion of the lot to accommodate the new construction.

Dupler said he favored the architectural details of the new building, noting the proposed exterior materials “aesthetically replicate an appearance that is uniquely Delafield.”

Drees' submittal to the city did not include an operations plan. When pressed by commissioners, he said he anticipated operating the shop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays once it is up and running.