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Thiensville residents oppose luxury apartments

Aug. 7, 2013

Thiensville — Thiensville residents turned out in droves Tuesday to voice their objection to a potential 60-unit luxury apartment complex at Green Bay Road and Riverview Drive.

Minnesota-based MSP Real Estate presented the proposed development for the former M&I Bank site during a joint meeting of the Historical Preservation Committee, Plan Commission and Committee of the Whole. No decisions were made during the meeting; instead, village officials spent an hour listening to residents' concerns, the bulk of which stemmed from the size of the proposed structure.

"We don't need a high density property on a postage stamp of land," Thiensville resident Randy Short said.

More than a dozen residents echoed those concerns, saying the complex is simply too big for both the space and the village.

The initial proposal calls for a three-story, L-shaped complex with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging in rent from $1,050 to $1,800, MSP Vice President Jacob Klein said. There would be 60 underground parking spaces as well as 32 surface spaces.

The building would line Green Bay Road, with a patio or balcony attached to the outside of the apartments. The first floor would be elevated 3 to 4 feet off the ground so there is a separation between the sidewalk and patios. Inside the complex would also be a lounge and fitness center.

"We're hoping we can be a part of your community," Klein said.

Thiensville resident Susan Sonneborn said that although it's time for something to be done with the vacant bank site, her initial reaction to the development was that it's too big of a building for the space. In addition, she was concerned about the increase in traffic on Riverview Drive and Green Bay Road.

Klein said MSP generated a traffic study comparing bank traffic with potential apartment traffic. He said the bank generated 418 daily trips, and it is estimated that the complex will produce 395 daily trips.

"The science says we'll have less daily trips," Klein said.

MSP purchased the bank site in 2012. The developer presented plans for an assisted living facility in 2009 at the site, but the idea never gained ground after meeting with objection from neighbors.

In order for the development to move forward, the village would have to rezone the property. The development will come before all three governing bodies once more before it can garner full approval. Village officials assured quizzical residents that they will have further opportunity to discuss the development as a land rezone requires a public hearing.

Should the village approve the development, construction would start in spring 2014.

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