Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Lurie’s Bay View Proposal Not Dead

Withdrawing zoning application doesn't mean project is canceled.

By - Apr 5th, 2019 04:20 pm
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Updated proposal for 2700 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. block. Rendering by RINKA.

Updated proposal for 2700 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. block. Rendering by RINKA.

Developer Scott Lurie has withdrawn his application for a zoning change to allow for a two-building apartment complex on the 2700 block of S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Lurie had proposed building approximately 200 apartments and first-floor commercial space on what is currently 11 different parcels.

The Bay View Compass reported Lurie had withdrawn his plans for the “large development.” But while commenters celebrated on the Bay View Town Hall Facebook group, Lurie hasn’t give up on the project.

Lurie has only rescinded an application with the Department of City Development to have the site’s zoning changed. The developer, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, could introduce an application at a future date. Lurie, through his F Street Group firm, could also introduce a modified proposal that conforms with existing zoning for the site, avoiding the need for often contentious public meetings.

Alderman Tony Zielinski had promised to oppose the project after two neighborhood meetings surrounding the project. “To me it’s clear, people don’t support this project,” said the alderman after dismissing the development team at the second public meeting.

Zielinski is running for mayor and has repeatedly stated he will not seek re-election to the Common Council in April 2020. That could be significant for Lurie.  In just over a year Lurie could have a local champion of his project, instead of an opponent. Marina Dimitrijevic is, to date, the only candidate to declare for the seat.

The original plan relied on a terrace-style design that, level by level, reduced the height of the buildings away from S. Kinnickinnic Ave. “But after listening to the comments, we thought we could do better,” said project architect Matt Rinka at the December meeting. The revised plan, rising 60 feet, was to push a more traditional building layout further north to create more space between nearby duplexes and single-family homes. Much of the development site is formed from a surface parking lot, a vacant lot and vacant one-story building.

The developer does not yet own the land according to city records, but said he had secured purchase options on the properties. Almost all of the site, including a handful of homes, and the vacant and former Bella Fat Cat’s building, is owned by an investment group led by Tim OlsonAlyssa Moore and Shirley Konopski. BMO Harris Bank owns its bank branch and had proposed to sell its property and become a tenant in one of the new buildings.

For more on the proposal, see our article from December 19th “Bay View Proposal Gets Smaller, Shorter.”

Updated Renderings

Original Renderings

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