Huge Project Proposed for Bay View
Six-floor, $25 million project with 144 apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail.
A new six story mixed-use development is planned for the north end of the Kinnickinnic business corridor in Bay View.
The six story building, at 2130 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., will feature 15,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, parking on the second floor and four floors of apartments arranged like a horseshoe around a green roof courtyard.
The project will tear down and build on the site of the now-closed Hamburger Mary’s at the corner of S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and E. Bay St., and is being developed by New Land Enterprises. The project, which is valued at about $25 million and will create 144 apartments, has support from local business leaders and the city for the increased density it will bring to the neighborhood and the business district.
At a community meeting hosted by Ald. Tony Zielinski Wednesday night at Bay View High School, every attendee that owned commercial property in the area said they supported the project for its potential to bring new business and more density to the area.
“I believe the one thing that we need as a business district in Bay View is density,” said Lee Barczak, president of the Bay View Business Improvement District and owner of the Avalon Theater. “I can tell you, we don’t have enough business yet. We need more business.”
But John Bieberitz, president and project manager for Traffic Analysis and Design, Inc., said that while increased density in an area would add to congestion, studies by his firm show it would still be within acceptable standards for an intersection like the one the project sits on.
Tim Gokhman, director at New Land Enterprises, also noted that the project would include more than 180 parking spaces, which is far more than required by city code for a development with this many units.
For the retail space, Gohkman said they are looking for “neighborhood businesses” which thrive on foot traffic and local residents, as opposed to national retailers and restaurant chains. He added that his firm has already had significant interest, even unsolicited offers for the retail space.
Part of the project will build upon a piece of land that is currently sitting vacant near the site. Some residents have been using it like a public park and were dismayed that it would developed. But Vanessa Koster, of the Department of City Development, reminded them that the land is not a public space, but rather a vacant lot.
Gokhman’s project will have to go before the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development committee in July to request a change in zoning for the land. Right now, the Hamburger Mary’s parcel is zoned for a mixed-use commercial development that could hold 80 to 100 residential units and some of the properties that will be absorbed into one property for the project are currently zoned residential. The required zoning change has allowed the city to have input on the project, which Koster and others note sits at the gateway to Bay View.
The site is also not far the former site of the Bay View Rolling Mill, which rolled steel and closed in the 1930’s.“We did a little bit of a dive into history, and got fairly interested in the history of the rolling mill,” said project architect Jason Korb, principal architect at Korb + Associates Architects.
Korb said they were influenced by the imagery of the process of rolling steel, “without being too literal.” Some of the colors they’ve added to the building, like oranges and blues, were inspired by the mill. And the large rounded glass facade on the north end of the building, he said, is supposed to represent both the rolling of steel and Bay View’s connection to Lake Michigan.