Project adds parking in Town Center
Owner of Mequon development paying for part of improvements

By Gary Achterberg

Feb. 26, 2019

 Improvements to the parking lot between City Hall and the former
Logemann Center will add 43 spots.
Photo by Mark Justesen

MEQUON — Since the first phase of the Mequon Town Center opened nearly four years ago, an often-heard complaint is that it’s difficult to park there.

That should change later this year when significant upgrades to the adjacent parking lot behind Mequon City Hall are completed.

The Common Council earlier this month approved the $922,874 low bid for a reconstruction project that will add 43 spots to the lot that runs west from City Hall to the site where the Logemann Center was demolished late last summer.

In addition to adding more parking, the lot will be well-lit and include amenities to make it more pedestrian friendly.

“It will be more convenient, comfortable and safe,” said Kim Tollefson, Mequon’s director of Community Development.

About 43 percent of the cost will funded by the city’s tax increment financing district for the Town Center. A “green solutions” grant from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District will cover 33 percent. About 24 percent will be paid for by the current owners of Mequon Town Center I.

The number of available public parking spots in the Town Center neighborhood will increase from 136 to 179. That is 11 more than the minimum recommendation included in a parking study the city commissioned when it was considering future uses for the Logemann site.

The cost of the reconstruction is about 15-percent less than the first time the city sought bids for the work. Much of the savings resulted from the city’s Department of Public Works removing trees and other vegetation from the site, which was part of the first bid package.

Once the lot is reconfigured and expanded, city officials plan to make several related changes:

■ Employees of Town Center businesses will be encouraged to park along Cedarburg Road. Tollefson said many visitors to the businesses may not be aware they can park there. There are 40 spots on both sides of the road between the entrance to Mequon Town Center I north to the Frank L. Weyenberg Library.

Tollefson told aldermen that the property owner conducted its own study of parking at Mequon Town Center I. They found more employees than they expected were using the parking lot closest to the businesses. They also learned many residents of the apartment units were choosing to park in the surface lots, rather than assigned indoor parking. Some cars had not  been moved for several days.

Alderman Brian Schneider said it is in the property owner’s interest to fix that problem.

“With the addition of Spur 16 and Foxtown, I assume those businesses (in MTC 1) will realize they’d better make their employees park somewhere else – or they’re going to lose business to the next development down,” he said. “I think they’ll learn the hard way if they don’t do that.”

■ Concerns voiced by the adjacent Howard J. Schroeder American Legion Post have been addressed. The post will be able to cordon off parking in its lot and nearby portions of the adjacent lot for special events.

■ Parking in the MTC 1 lot reserved for a specific business will be phased out as leases are renewed.

■ In some cases, vehicles assigned to City Hall will be relocated to provide more accessible parking to the general public.

The total project cost for the renovation works out to be about $5,155 for each of the 179 parking spaces.

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