sketch by Bob Lang illustrates one of the possibly seven
multiuse buildings that he plans to build on 28 acres of
land near the interchange of Interstate 94 and Highway C if
he can obtain options on the land and approvals from the
city for the development.
of Robert Lang Company
— Calendar entrepreneur and developer Bob Lang is planning a
complex of seven multiuse buildings that he has dubbed “New
Delafield” on 28 acres he is trying to acquire near Interstate
94 and Highway C, south of the downtown business district.
said he is seeking a 10-month option from Ixonia Bank on the
controversial parcel of land that he once owned.
attempts during the past two decades to commercially develop the
land have failed as a result of well-orchestrated opposition from
neighbors who live in the woodlands adjacent to the land abutting
the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Bank CEO Daniel Westrope confirmed the bank has been in
discussions with Lang about an option, but said no decision has
admits he has no capital or financing backing for the land option.
Westrope acknowledged that Lang’s development résumé,
familiarity with the property, and the issues associated with
developing it, are advantages the bank would be willing to weigh
while considering whether to grant the option.
said the centerpiece of the development would be the Abraham
Lincoln Art Gallery and Civil War Museum that would be the home of
his collection of 72 rare Civil War artifacts and original oil
paintings of President Abraham Lincoln which he wants to sell to a
addition, “New Delafield” would include a series of
residential and commercial buildings that would enable its
residents to “live, work and eat” at the complex, Lang said.
planning, zoning issues
the proposed development might face some major planning and zoning
issues including changing the city’s comprehensive land use plan
and rezoning the property, City Planner Roger Dupler said.
of the land is zoned for commercial office space and research
park, Dupler said.
said restaurants and residential condominiums are not permitted in
the zoning district, unless associated with a commercial senior
living facility, and he is uncertain whether a museum would be
addition, the city code requires all commercial properties to be
served by municipal sewer and there is presently no sewer service
located north of Interstate 94. Nearby homeowners have vowed to
block any attempts by developers to change the zoning on the land.
they have also said they would not oppose a development that
complied with existing zoning requirements.
expressed confidence he could overcome the issues related to
developing the land and added he will meet with neighbors to
persuade them his plans are beneficial to the neighborhood and the
said he decided to develop the property south of the interstate
because he could not acquire land in downtown Delafield to
implement his plans to continue the commercial development he
began nearly 30 years ago when his gift card and calendar company
was a national phenomenon.