A plan to put retail shops in front of the existing West End apartments is back, but this time it does not come with additional apartments.
Developer Steve Brown Apartments purchased the complex north of the Verona Area School District’s new high school property more than two years ago and had gotten approval in early 2016 to put 29 units to the north of the apartments along with 15,000 square feet of retail on the site. But construction never started on it because of concerns with “construction fatigue” for apartment residents, planning director Adam Sayre told the Press.
The new plan, up for a concept review at the city’s Monday, July 2, Plan Commission meeting, gets rid of the new apartments and the drive-thru convenience store that had been planned and replaces it with a row of three multi-user buildings along West Verona Avenue and a fourth between those and the apartments. In total, the plan would put in 29,000 square feet of retail.
“Our intention is to create a walkable commercial district of pedestrian convenience and scale that focuses architecturally on design detail and ambiance,” states a letter from Steve Brown director Dan Seely.
The previous plan, approved in November 2016, got unanimous support from the Common Council but included conditions based on Plan Commission concerns ensuring the retail buildings were built before any apartments.
Five months later, VASD voters approved a $182 million referendum building a new high school south of the existing apartments, with site work already started and construction expected to start late this year.
The plan will also get a concept review at the Common Council and, as part of the planned-unit development process, would need to return to each body at least twice more for approvals.