WAUKESHA — The Plan Commission reviewed conceptual plans for two development projects on Wednesday, many members voicing disapproval of a proposed Biggby Coffee franchise to be located across from Waukesha West High School and voicing approval for a 192-unit residential development downtown.
No motions or votes were made by the Plan Commission Wednesday on the conceptual plans, but presentations were given on them by the Community Development Department and public comments on the project were presented.
The coffee shop proposal received the most public comment Wednesday. The business was proposed for the oneacre parcel on the corner of River Road, Rapids Trail and Raintree Lane. The proposal included some patio seating, chairs and small tables and parking.
The developers presented the item Wednesday to see if the city was interested in the development, waiting to purchase the property contingent upon city approvals.
About six residents said they were opposed to the proposed business, worried about the impact the development would have on nearby property values, traffic congestion concerns, disturbances to residential neighbors, appearance concerns and more.
Commissioners agreed with the residents. Commissioners R.G. Keller and Cory Montiho said they felt the area was not the right location for the business. Montiho described the architecture of the building as looking like it was built “out of LEGOs.”
Mayor Shawn Reilly said although the property is zoned for commercial development, he agrees with the commission that the proposal was not the right fit for the location. Reilly said the city may need to take a look at the property to see what would be the right fit and review what the property should be zoned as. He said developers have the right to develop property that they own.
Reilly said he hopes there is a Biggby Coffee proposed somewhere else in the city.
Commissioners on Wednesday voiced support after reviewing conceptual plans for a 192-unit residential development project proposed by General Capital Group and Joseph Property Development. The site is currently a parking lot next to Waukesha State Bank off Brehm Street, St. Paul Avenue and Barstow Street.
Montiho said he was happy to see the preservation of the Riverwalk in front of the site and liked the aesthetics of the building. Alderman Jack Wells said he did not really like the aesthetics, but he likes the use of the property. Keller said he thinks the building’s character would be current in terms of what is being done today.
According to city documents, the proposal includes three separate buildings of a three and four-story or four and five-story configuration on the 2.5 acres of land along the Riverwalk.
According to city documents, the proposal includes one 66-unit eastern building near Barstow Street closer to the river, which would be part of phase one construction. There would also be two 63-unit buildings along East St. Paul Avenue, which would be part of phase two construction.
Each building would consist of upper-story residential units with enclosed parking on the lower levels and the opportunity for a residential or commercial space in the building closest to Barstow Street.
Apartment sizes will range from 700 to 1,600 square feet and rent is expected to cost between $1,200 to $2,200 a month.
Proposed amenities include balconies, a fitness gym, a dog run, shared barbecues, outdoor fire pits and more.