Michael Horne

Brady Street neighborhood house to be demolished for parking

By - Mar 22nd, 2012 04:00 am
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The house, seen on the left, is the one up for a demolition debate. There is nothing wrong with the house itself. (Photos: Michael Horne)

A proposal to demolish a vacant bungalow at 1724 N. Warren Ave. and convert the property to a parking lot has drawn opposition from some East Village neighbors. The Special Use permission will be considered Thursday, March 22, at 4:30 p.m. by the City of Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) in Room 301-B of City Hall.

Property owner Monroe Street Partners wants to use the building, sandwiched between an existing parking lot to the north and a Walgreens loading dock to the south, as monthly parking.

According to Michael Kaider of the firm, located at 30 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1000, Chicago, Ill.,“It is our intent to construct an off street private parking lot and offer spaces for lease on a monthly basis. The house is no longer located in an ideal location and was vacant for some time prior to our purchase. Given the lack of parking in the area, we feel the highest and best use of the property is the use which we are proposing, which is a new off street parking lot.”

Some neighbors, however, are skeptical about the long-term future of the property. But there are no plans for the property to be used by Walgreens, Kaider says.

He should know, since “an affiliated company owns the Walgreens anchored center to the south, but Walgreens has shown no interest in using this space for customer parking,” he writes in a letter to an objecting neighbor.

The affiliated firm, Brady Street Partners LLC, also of the Monroe Street address, owns the $4 million premises at 1414-1438 E. Brady Street including the recently expanded 17,000 square foot Walgreens and seven other retail spaces. The home on N. Warren Ave. was bought for $130,000 in August 2011.

Neighbors Todd Heikkinen and Matt Pamperin, who live in the property closest to the bungalow, objected to the plans in a letter to Ald. Nik Kovac and the members of the BOZA board. They wrote,

“We would like to voice our strong objection to this proposal to sacrifice a residence in our neighborhood for parking/commercial use,” they wrote. “We think the property is desirable as a residence, and find it somewhat disingenuous to identify it as ‘vacant for some time before it was purchased.’ The property was indeed vacant, but it appeared to be at the decision of its owner’s, not as a result of lack of interest from the market. … This is not a property, or a neighborhood which is blighted in any sense. We find it dubious to suggest that there is no viable use for this property other than demolition.”

According to Nicole Meyer, staff assistant to Ald. Kovac, “another point the company (who actually own the Brady St. Retail Center) made, was that the possibility of a family purchasing the home, fixing it up, and residing in it didn’t seem likely with the homes [sic] current surroundings. Monroe Investment Partners have been very involved with the Brady St. Retail Center and upgrading its appearance. I believe they have a vested interest in the neighborhood.”

Warren Ave. resident Shirley Ferguson, who earlier championed a short-lived Zoning Overlay District for the East Village neighborhood says, “the new owners call the bungalow a run down property…that is not true.” She said the property would indeed find a satisfactory tenant and opposes plans to demolish the structure for a parking lot.

According to the City of Milwaukee Northeast Side Comprehensive Plan, “Residential demolition for building commercial surface parking lots is discouraged.” [Item 9, page 93.]

Ferguson asks, “are we going to let this happen?”
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IN OTHER REAL ESTATE NEWS

Not far away, at 1601 N. Jackson St., another building faces demolition, but in its place will be a 5-story, 34-unit apartment building planned by Dermond Property, which most recently constructed the Latitude Apartments at 1857 N. Farwell Ave. The Jackson street building was for many years a secluded Sicilian restaurant that went by many names over the years, including Fazio’s, Curro’s, Joe and Mario’s, and finally Joey’s.

The building, which was assessed at as much as a half million dollars in recent years, was sold for $75,000 in 2010 — less than the appraised value of the land, which is all that will remain shortly, since the city plan commission approved the proposal for the apartment building this week. Across N. Jackson Street, the former Dentice Sausage property awaits a buyer / developer.

Just down the block at 1509 N. Jackson St., five soil boring holes bear witness to recent drilling on the property, which is usually a precursor for development. The vacant lot once held a ramshackle home and was, for many years, filled with taxicabs and refuse. Across the street, at 1530 N. Jackson St., developer Elan Peltz is preparing to construct an apartment building at the site, which once held a duplex.

All of this is just uphill from the Mandel Group’s North End, 455 E. Pleasant St., which is undergoing soil work for construction of Phase II of this reclamation of the former Pfister and Vogel Tannery. This riverfront property is downstream from Wangard Partners’ $11.5 million, 68-unit 1910 on Water, which after some delays due to site conditions, has now risen above N. Astor St., and should soon command a pleasant view.

Also on the river, interest is being shown in the old Gallun Tannery site while monitoring wells were drilled last week at the old Habhegger Brake property at N. Water and E. Brady St, possibly presaging action at that underutilized site, once planned for a Nehring’s market.

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Further upstream, Kane Commons has sold a unit at 1160 E. Kane Place, a single-family condo unit with geothermal heating, a live roof and a top-floor deck in this development devoted to “Urban Courtyard” living. Meanwhile, the Clock Shadow Creamery building at 538 S. 2nd St. in Walkers Point is nearing completion as one of the city’s greenest buildings.

Categories: News, News & Views

0 thoughts on “Brady Street neighborhood house to be demolished for parking”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Whatever happened to Boris Gokhman & NLEnterprise? And Michael, what’s up at the Shorecrest?

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