project proposed for the intersection of Main Street and
Freistadt Road in Thiensville includes about 90
apartments, retail businesses and green space.
Image courtesy of Eppstein
THIENSVILLE — Final designs and a firm construction
schedule are still to be submitted, but plans for a
retail and apartment development in downtown Thiensville
cleared a first hurdle last week.
The Thiensville Village Board voted unanimously Jan. 21
to amend the land-use plan and the planned unit
development ordinance. Both are initial legal steps
required before the village can consider zoning changes.
The project is proposed for a long-vacant 5.46-acre
L-shaped lot that wraps around the Walgreens at the
intersection of Main Street and Freistadt Road. As plans
stand now, the development includes:
■ Two three-story apartment buildings with a total of 90
to 98 units
■ A 10,000-square-foot retail building on Main Street on
the southwest corner of the property
■ A 6,000-square-foot to 8,000-square-foot retail
building just south of Walgreens on Main Street The
Village Board’s approvals were preceded by a public
hearing. Several neighbors attended and asked questions
about the project. There was no opposition, but several
of the residents said they were eager to return when
more-concrete plans will be on the table.
The project is being developed by Trish Jennings Ullrich
and Maggie Jennings Beach, sisters who are related to
the property owner. The property housed a strip mall,
which was demolished about 20 years ago. Walgreens later
built a store on the corner. The rest of the property
has remained undeveloped.
The sisters – doing business as Nex-Jenn – are working
with Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects. The
firm’s CEO, Greg Uhen, attended the meeting and walked
village trustees through a PowerPoint presentation.
The buildings will incorporate architectural features
that harken back to Thiensville’s history as a mill town
along the Milwaukee River with “a modern
interpretation.” He said the project will include “some
interesting public spaces between the buildings.”
That green space should prove attractive to nearby
tenants as well as others from the community who walk or
drive to patronize the businesses or take advantage of
the pocket park that will be part of the development.
Parking for apartment residents will be underground.
Uhen said an exact number of spots has not yet been
determined but will be in the neighborhood of 1 1/2
spots per unit. There will be additional onsite surface
parking for visitors.
When Village Board members discussed the project,
several trustees told the developers and architect that
it is very important that sufficient parking is
Jon Censky, who performs contract work as a planner for
Thiensville, said the next step in the process will be a
request for rezoning changes. The Planning Commission
and members of the public will then have an opportunity
to see the developer’s detailed plans.
All steps in the process will include final approval by
the Village Board, Censky said.
While trustees had questions and suggestions, the
developers’ plans were met with general enthusiasm.
“I’m excited that after a couple of decades, I’m
thankful someone is interested in doing something like
this,” said Trustee David Lange.
Trustee Sam Azinger said he wants to see details about
the parking plans for the project, but added he has not
heard objections from the public since the plans first
were presented several months ago.
“I like it,” he said. “It’s a perfect place to do a
large-scale project like this.”
Trustee Rob Holyoke agreed.
“It fits the parcel; it’s classy,” he said. “I think
this will add to the walkability of Thiensville.”