Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Lindsay Heights Garden Center Planned

Walnut Way founders Sharon and Larry Adams continue push to improve Lindsay Heights neighborhood.

By - Jul 22nd, 2020 01:14 pm
1722 (right) and 1726 (left) W. Lloyd St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

1722 (right) and 1726 (left) W. Lloyd St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The founders of the Walnut Way Conservation Corp. are continuing their efforts to improve the Lindsay Heights neighborhood in which they’ve long resided.

With construction wrapping up on Adams Garden Park, an office building and attached grounds that will be home for a number of environmentally-focused tenants, Sharon and Larry Adams are moving to the next phase.

The husband-and-wife team plan to open a garden center at 1726 W. Lloyd St., near the intersection of N. 18th St. and W. Fond du Lac Ave.

“We’re hoping to turn this parcel into an urban garden center and provide commercial and retail plant supplies,” said Larry in presenting the project to the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on Tuesday

“This is an extension of work we’re already doing,” said Sharon.

The Adams retired from Walnut Way in 2015, but continue to be an active presence in the neighborhood. Walnut Way’s Blue Skies Landscaping arm will be one of the tenants in the Adams Garden Park development, 1836 W. Fond du Lac Ave., and is also developing the grounds surrounding the building.

“I’m confident this additional development will add much more value to the community,” said area Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II of the planned garden center. The office building and garden center were originally part of a combined vision unveiled in 2017.

To assemble the property the Adams are engaged with a city in a complicated transaction. They’ll buy a vacant, city-owned lot at 1722 W. Lloyd St. for $2,500. The city will also foreclose on the privately-owned property at 1726 W. Lloyd St., which contains a one-story building used as a daycare, and sell it to the Adams for $1,000. The property owner is currently delinquent on property taxes going back to 2008.

The privately-owned property, assessed for $118,800, is one of many in the city that are on the city’s “do-not-acquire” list of tax-delinquent properties that have environmental issues. The property has historically been used as a blacksmith/metal shop, used car dealership, auto repair shop and car wash according to a city land disposition report. The 152 properties on the list are disproportionately located in the city’s first, sixth, seventh and 15th aldermanic districts that encompass the city’s near North Side. The city will pursue foreclosure on any of the properties if a buyer is interested, but the property owner could pay the back taxes to retain the property.

The property at 1726 W. Lloyd St. has been owned by Dykeman Properties since at least 2001 according to city records. The limited liability company listed in the city’s ownership records, Dykeman Properties 1726 LLC, was administratively dissolved in 2011 according to the state Department of Financial Institutions. Other “Dykeman” entities with similar naming structures were dissolved at the same time. “Dykeman Property Management, LLC,” listed as the registered agent for the other entities, continues to operate but is delinquent on filing its annual report as of April 1st. The firm is led by Michael Dykeman.

For just the Lloyd Street property, Dykeman owes $40,831.04 in overdue property taxes according to a City Treasurer report from July 8th. Dykeman owes an additional $10,096.11 for two years of back taxes on a property at 4825-4827 N. Hopkins St. The latter property is not on the do-not-acquire list.

The Lloyd Street building, constructed in 1952, is currently occupied by the Tree House Enrichment Center child care facility, operated by Apple Tree Educational Services LLC and licensed by the state. The business is led by Charlotte Randolph.

What happens if Dykeman pays the back taxes? According to a city report, the Adams plan to purchase just the city-owned vacant lot. The Adams and Walnut Way own a series of lots along N. 17th St. and N. 18th St. that form a contiguous block with the to-be-purchased vacant lot.

The committee unanimously endorsed moving forward with the land sale and foreclosure action. The full council will review the proposal on July 28th.

The project is not the only one underway in the area. Walnut Way is developing a second phase to its Innovations and Wellness Commons complex at N. 16th St. and W. North Ave. We profiled that project last week in our Friday Photos column. The entire neighborhood was designated the city’s first “eco neighborhood” in 2019.


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Related Legislation: File 200382

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