SHOREWOOD -- One of the co-owners of Colectivo Coffee wants to his try his hand at burgers and ice cream.
Paul Miller, who lives in Shorewood, wants to open up the new restaurant on Oakland Avenue and Olive Street at the site of a former Verizon store.
On Friday morning, Miller told the village’s Community Development Authority the building’s owner has no interest in selling, but he’s hoping to lease it for 10 years and put $1 million into renovating it.
As part of the remodeling, Miller said he’s hoping to secure a grant from Shorewood to improve the building’s facade.
Members of the Community Development Authority said such grants are typically capped at $25,000, but can be larger if approved by the full village board.
Miller and Scott Schwebel, also of Colectivo Coffee, told the CDA they feel they’ve met the requirements for a grant of $103,000. They said that would amount to about half of the estimated cost of improving the building’s facade.
“What we applied for is a program the village offers,” Schwebel said.
He said he thinks the burger and ice cream joint, which would be open for lunch and dinner, would bring tax base and a new gathering space to the community.
“It’s designed to engage the sidewalk and have people sit outside in the summer, which we know brings wonderful life to a neighborhood,” Schwebel said. “We love the idea of having a place to being our kids to and for the people of the village to enjoy."
The CDA determined the business meets the requirements for a facade improvement grant and recommended the village approve the request. All but one member of the seven person committee voted for the proposal, which must still pass the full village board.
Tammy Bockhorst, a Village Trustee and member of the CDA, said he feels the remodeling of the old Verizon site improves the overall image of Shorewood and benefits the village as a whole.
“I see this as an amenity for the village,” she said. "It would be a restaurant that serves not just our village, but also people who come here from many other areas."
But some neighbors showed up at Friday’s meeting to voice their displeasure at the proposal.
Dan Weber-Schulz said the village is putting too much money into attracting businesses and not enough into infrastructure improvements like to roads and sewers.
“I’m frustrated,” Weber-Schulz said.
One CDA member noted the village has already given money to several of the businesses that have opened up in recent years on Oakland Avenue – among them the new Metro Market and the Colectivo Coffee on Oakland Avenue and Kensington Boulevard.
“I feel the village is giving a lot of money to businesses that don’t need that money to prosper,” Weber-Schulz said.