Business park plan progressing

GERMANTOWN — The wheels are turning quickly on a new business park in Germantown, though some concerns cropped up this week about the visual aspect of the buildings being planned.

The Plan Commission met Monday and held a developer consultation for Capstone 41, a proposed business park development planning to bring 785,000 square feet of new manufacturing space to the village.

“Capstone 41 is a proposed 52-acre business park to be located on Holy Hill Road,” Village Planner Jeff Retzlaff said.

Capstone Quadrangle, a Waukesha-based commercial developer, is planning three buildings for the Holy Hill Road property, which is within the new expanded area of Germantown’s tax incremental financing district No. 7.

During the discussion Monday, a preliminary version of a site plan for the business park was presented for commission feedback. According to village documents, Capstone plans to bring a site plan, rezoning request, certified survey map and conditional use permit application to the Plan Commission Aug. 9 for consideration.

Most of the commissioners’ comments pertained to the appearance of the buildings planned, and their not having a high aesthetic standard.

“It’s not going to look very good ... it’s just going to be truck city between those buildings,” Commissioner Anthony Laszewski said.

Commissioner David Baum mentioned the village’s ongoing 2050 Plan efforts, and recent resident feedback that they did not want more of that style of large industrial building, and if more were built they should be more aesthetically attractive. He said the design shown in the site plan did just enough to delineate the building, but no more and did not meet higher standards.

Commissioner Matthew Kimmler asked if the buildings could be reconfigured on the site, and if there could be significant landscaping between the buildings and road. Retzlaff said reconfiguring the buildings would likely decrease the screening possibilities, due to the site layout.

“I do admit to feeling a bit of stress, because this is the site plan that was presented to the Plan Commission and the Village Board when the board approved tax incremental financing for the site,” Mike Faber of Capstone Quadrangle said.

“And on that basis we’ve moved forward, and actually have had to commit to steel and precast for this first west building, phase one,” he said.

Faber said there is a possible tenant interested in three-quarters of the first building, which is being built on speculation. How many overhead doors are installed in each building and how many vehicles will be there will depend on what type of businesses go into the business park.

The site plan does show the buildings are designed to be flexible and allow modifications, such as extra doors if needed for a warehousing or distribution use.

The project was originally brought up last fall, in conjunction with the process of TID 7 being altered to include the property under consideration to allow for TID assistance to the development. Faber noted this week that the business park, at full built-out with all three buildings, could bring considerable tax base and jobs to the village.

He said the team working on the project would try to address the concerns the Plan Commission had brought up, before making the final submission for consideration next month.