Several hundred people packed into a room at Bayside Middle School Thursday night to voice their opinions about a proposed high rise apartment tower in the village. While some who attended were excited about the prospect of a 30-story tower, many were opposed.
The Community Development Authority held the public hearing.
The tower would house 250 luxury apartment units, near the busy intersection of Brown Deer and Port Washington Roads – off of I-43.
WUWM's Marti Mikkelson caught up with a few people before the hearing started, including the developer, Scott Yauck. He said besides the apartments, the 28-acre proposed site - named OneNorth - would also include retail, restaurants, office and greenspace. Additional housing and retail would be built down the line.
Yauck said many people support the endeavor. “I’ve heard more than any other commentary from people who have appeared before us that they don’t have good housing options when they want to downsize and they’re forced to leave the community, so the idea of a luxury development that brings amenities I think is a good strong asset for the community."
He said financing would come through a TIF district, in which new property taxes generated from the development would help pay for it. Another person who supports the project is Kevin Gerard. He thinks it would be a good replacement for the development that’s there now.
“It’s about half vacant," Gerard said. "The buildings are old and tired. It’s 28 acres, it’s right by the expressway. It looks pretty high end, it looks like it’s nice and I think there’s a lot of people who would want to live there. Of all the things they’d want to do with the property, that’s a nice thing to have."
While Gerard supports the project, Jennie Bailey said she’s not a fan of it. She thinks the high rise complex won’t mesh with the rest of the village of single family homes.
“It doesn’t fit at all, I can’t imagine somebody actually came up with the idea to do it. We’ve got enough traffic here, we’ve got enough people here, our intersections are crowded already. We just don’t need another, whatever it is, 100 units or whatever in that particular location,” Bailey said.
Donald Hucko's lived in Bayside for 50 years and thinks the project would disrupt the rural atmosphere he enjoys. “We moved here because we wanted a country atmosphere, and get away from congestion, high rises and whatever. Basically, we’re a country town,” he said.
The Bayside Community Development Authority didn’t take action Thursday night on whether to establish a TIF district for the development. It scheduled a vote for next week instead. Then, the item would go to the full Village Board.