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Three local businesses pitch downtown Thiensville developments

June 5, 2013

Thiensville — Three local businesses are vying for the chance to develop prime downtown Thiensville real estate along Pigeon Creek.

At a special joint meeting of the Committee of the Whole and Plan Commission on Tuesday, Thiensville-based CORE Consulting, Mequon-based Knobloch Nelson Architects, and Thiensville Family Health Care Clinic all presented multi-level, mixed-use plans for consideration.

In 2012 the village purchased the sites of Riemer's Flowers, D & D Electronics and Sea N' Sand Scuba for a combined total of $297,000 with the intent of razing the buildings to make way for redevelopment.  After the presentations Tuesday, village officials convened in closed session to consider the proposals and begin brainstorming over the village's bargaining position in the sale of the properties.

Contractors are removing asbestos from the sites now, said village administrator Dianne Robertson, who expects demolition to occur within a few weeks. Village officials mentioned several times that it's in the interest of the village to go bigger rather than smaller on the sites, to get a better sale price and maximize the village's investment.

Throughout the meeting, Village President Van Mobley said things like whether the developer or village will pay for the properties to be elevated out of the Pigeon Creek flood plain, and the particulars of the developers' financial backing, among other details, will likely be points of negotiation going forward. He also mentioned that there are several other village sites that could potentially house the two applicants who lose out on the bid for Main Street.

Trustees and plan commissioners also acknowledged that, regardless of what goes on the site, parking will be a problem.

"Parking's going to be any issue with any of these," said Mobley. "The village is going to have to work with (the developers) and we're going to have to be creative."

CORE Consulting

CORE Consulting, now located on Green Bay Road in Thiensville, is a fast-growing firm that specializes in engineer staffing and product design outsourcing. Co-partners Jesse Daily and Matthew Buerosse said the company plans to expand further in the next few years and has outgrown its current office.

"We're really excited at the opportunity to bring our permanent home to Thiensville," Daily said. "We think this is a good investment for the community."

The CORE proposal sets a three-year timeline for completion of a two-story, 12,000-square-foot office and commercial building.

Their offices would be located on the second floor, with office or retail space below on the ground level.

Main Street Commons

Leona Knobloch-Nelson and Jonathan Nelson, the husband and wife duo behind Knobloch Nelson Architects, unveiled a two-story, mixed-use development called the Thiensville Main Street Commons.

Premised on being pedestrian friendly, their proposal includes 3,700 square feet of retail space on the first floor and 2,500 square feet of office space or potentially one-bedroom apartments on the second.

They said they would like to reclaim the Lannon stone from the soon-to-be demolished buildings for the facade of their development, which includes a central walkway connecting the Main Street side to the Pigeon Creek side.

Key features of the proposal include a community sculpture garden on the Pigeon Creek side of the building and a "pedestrian oasis" fronting Main Street where retail patrons and community members could congregate.

"We really want to make this a pedestrian friendly area," Knobloch-Nelson said.

If approved, they would plan to begin construction in September and be substantially completed by March 2014.

Thiensville Health Alliance

Co-partners Gary Lewis, owner of and physician at the Thiensville Family Health Care Clinic, and Andrea Mayerson, president of Eilcar Health, presented a three-story, 12,000-square-foot development tentatively called the Thiensville Health Alliance.

Lewis, who said he and a Mequon doctor have been planning to merge their practices for years, would bring a patient pool of more than 6,000 to the building, plus the patients from a third doctor.

Their building, connected by elevator, would house retail on the first floor, physician practices on the second floor, and a conference center, workshop, exercise gym, and miscellaneous rental space on the third.

They plan to have a health store, similar to a GNC, on the first level, as well as other sorts of medical practices like physical therapy, psychotherapy and massage on the second floor.

"The prospect of a large health compex is something I've dreamed about," Lewis said. "We have no doubt that we would be a successful business, enrich the village, and make everyone in the village very proud."

Lewis and Mayerson said they aim to have their building completed by the end of 2013.

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