Potential Bay View redevelopment draws criticism

Posted at 2:31 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 18:18:36-04

It would be well over a year before anything happened to the empty lot and abandoned business near KK and Herman, but residents already don't like the looks of it. 

"The more you look around, you see a certain vibe here," Brian Murphy said. "A certain continuity in all the buildings. Once you take that away, you lose the sense of identity."

The potential redevelopment would be a six story, mixed-use development with retail and multi-family living spaces. It would contain 220 to 230 residential units and have a sustainable focus. But current residents say it wouldn't be a good fit. 

"To be honest, I'd like it to be a grassy meadow with picnic benches and some place for people to come with their fast food or something," Brian Schweinert said. "I don't mind the development. I'm not against putting housing here or whatnot. I think the sheer size of it is what hurts us. Six stories is a lot."

The preliminary concepts of the building show a maximum height of six stories, but the back would have lower stories with green space.

"I think it would only add to the coming up part of Bay View," Joshua Czerwimski said. "It's come a long way since I moved here. It would add much more. There was like, nothing going on down here. Now, I don't even know where to begin with where to check things out because there's so much going on."

Ald. Tony Zielinski says nothing would happen to the space or well over a year, but he wants to open a dialogue between the developers and the community to find out what would be the best fit for Bay View. 

Even the residents who disagree with the current concept know, something needs to change. 

"I think having an empty corner doesn't really do anything as far as the property values or for the aesthetics of the neighborhood," Murphy said. "But something small, something retail and more importantly, something that stays in zoning codes."

"This is the place my family and kids grew up," Dennis Mikula said. "It's going to be gone."