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Businesses vie for Main Street

Aug. 7, 2013

Thiensville — The fate of prime downtown Thiensville real estate along Pigeon Creek on Main Street is still unclear after a joint meeting Tuesday, though a direction is starting to take shape.

In a joint meeting of the Committee of the Whole and Plan Commission, Village Manager Dianne Robertson in closed session was directed to begin negotiations with one of the three local businesses that are vying for a chance to set up shop on the village-owned land. The closed session announcement came after Thiensville-based CORE Consulting, Mequon-based Knobloch Nelson Architects, and Thiensville Family Health Center Clinic all presented multi-level, mixed-use plans for consideration as residents packed the room to hear the proposals.

Village President Van Mobley said they could not say which development was chosen because of negotiations with the respective business. Should a deal be struck, it will come back to the governing bodies. If a deal is not met with the chosen business, village officials will meet once more in closed session to generate a new direction.

Residents show support

About a dozen residents spoke out in favor of the Thiensville Health Alliance, led by co-partners Gary Lewis, owner and physician at the Thiensville Family Health Care Clinic, and Andrea Mayerson, president of Elicar Health. Many who spoke in favor of the center were Lewis' patients. The health center would provide integrative medicine, offering basic care as well as alternative care including physical therapy, psychotherapy and massage.

Though the majority spoke in favor of the integrative medical approach and the health center, many said they hope village officials work to find a home in Thiensville for all three developments.

Mobley said that is the intent.

Thiensville resident Lyn Falk, who said she works with downtown revitalization, said the health center fits best. There are two key criteria for revitalization projects: timing and a project that brings in repeat customers, as well as new customers to the village, she said, which the health center would do.

One resident spoke in favor of Knobloch Nelson Architects' proposal, asking village officials to consider the architecture and bring in a development that is warm and inviting. Knobloch Nelson Architects proposed a two-story, mixed-used development called the Thiensville Main Street Commons.

No matter which development is chosen, Thiensville resident Ed Ogden said parking is going to be an issue.

"I think parking is going to be a big problem and you're going to have your hands full and a mess for any one of them the way they are configured," Ogden said.

The three businesses addressed parking during individual presentations Tuesday, as well as provided additional detail on their proposals.

CORE Consulting

CORE Consulting, located on Green Bay Road in Thiensville, specializes in engineer staffing and product design outsourcing. Co-partners Jesse Daily and Matthew Buerosse said the company is seeing substantial growth and they are in need of a larger space.

Their proposal is a two-story, 9,000- to 14,000-square-foot multipurpose corporate and retail facility. CORE offices would be located on the second floor, with office or retail space on the ground level. The project would take three or more years to complete, Daily said. The plans call for a 14-stall parking lot on the northeast side of the building to help accommodate traffic to the site.

Possible tenants for the facility could include a cigar bar, ice cream shop, restaurant, brewery and engineering company. If a restaurant or brewery show interest in the site, water will be an issue. There are currently two wells that would provide water to a development, but a restaurant would require hooking up to municipal water. Installing municipal water along Main Street has been a point of discussion among village officials, however, nothing has been approved because so far business owners have not shown much interest in connecting to the water, Mobley said.

Main Street Commons

Husband and wife Leona Knobloch-Nelson and Jonathan Nelson are proposing a "pedestrian friendly" multifunctional, two-story building. The facility would be 4,620 square feet on the first floor and 5,015 square feet on the second floor.

The proposal includes retail, food, mercantile and office spaces. Knobloch-Nelson said they currently have a confectionery/ice cream shop, as well as State Farm Insurance as guaranteed lessees. The first floor could hold between four to six lessees. She said they are also working with a potential gyro or smoothie shop. The food businesses would not require more water than what can be supplied by two wells, Knobloch-Nelson said.

The second floor would house the Knobloch-Nelson Architects' office space and Professional Services Resource Center, as well as a community conference center shared between them. It could also be rented out to local businesses.

The development features an outdoor sculpture garden where local artists can display their work on a revolving basis.

If approved, the bulk of construction could be complete by September 2014.

Thiensville Health Alliance

Lewis and Mayerson presented a three-story, 12,000-square-foot development with retail on the first floor, physician practices on the second floor and miscellaneous rental space on the third floor, all connected by an elevator.

Lewis said he and a Mequon doctor have been planning to merge their practices for years and are in need of additional space. They plan to have a health store on the first floor, as well as complementary medical practices such as weight management and nutritional counseling, Mayerson said

The proposal includes a 19-stall parking lot, and the building can be serviced by the two wells on site. If approved, the facility will take nine months to a year to be complete.

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