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Mandel Apartment Proposal Headed to Public Hearing

The business district will be one of the voices heard at the July 30 public hearing. After the meeting, village officials will discuss rezoning the property and creating a tax incremental finance district.

The public will soon have an opportunity to voice their opinions about the Mandel Group's

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on July 30 before the Village Board and the Community Development Authority. After the public hearing, a joint review board made up of Plan Commissioners and Architectural Review Commissioners will discuss the details of creating a tax incremental finance district at a meeting at 5 p.m. on Aug 6.

The Mandel Group gave a brief presentation in front of the village's Plan Commission Tuesday night regarding their request to rezone the parking lots on the north end of Silver Spring Drive as a planned development district. The commission referred the rezoning petition to the CDA.

The plans, , calls for a $27 million three-building development containing 103 high-end apartments in the north municipal lot spanning from Santa Monica Boulevard to Diversey Boulevard.

The two buildings on the east end would feature underground parking for residents, ground level parking for business customers and three levels of apartments above the sheltered parking area. The four-story building on the west end would offer underground parking for residents but no ground level parking.

Stakeholders on Silver Spring Drive will weigh in on project

The Board of Directors of the Whitefish Bay Business Improvement District also met last week to develop an opinion about the proposed apartment development.

John Stuhlmacher, the Chairman of the BID, said he would have liked stakeholders on Silver Spring Drive to have been consulted by village officials when the project was first talked about. Now that the project is moving through the pipeline, he said the business community should have a seat at the table.

"This is something that directly affects us, and I think we have an obligation to comment," he said.

The group decided to draft a letter to village officials explaining that they are in favor of development, including the Mandel project, but would like to be more involved in the process.

Several board members also said they would like The Mandel Group to consider a restaurant or a retail store on the western end of the project along Santa Monica Boulevard.

Under the proposal, the parking lot nearest Santa Monica Boulevard would be replaced with an apartment building. If those parking spots are lost, members of the BID said they would rather have them replaced with store or a restaurant. 

Board members agreed that the project, if done right, could be a catalyst for commercial development on Silver Spring Drive.

Linda Lang Hazaert July 19, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I am somewhat surprised that the WFB BID would want a business or restaurant on the west end of the lot because of loss of parking......Ummmm, where would customers park for those businesses???? I work in the FoxBay Building and sometimes have a hard time finding parking in the back as it is, my clients make similar comments as well all the time. Street parking especially during the school year is particularly difficult to find. I'm all for the new apartments but ONLY if they incorporate adequate parking for employees and customers. Many people can't walk all the way from the east end to the west and honestly don't want the inconvenience therefore we could potentially loose our customer base.
Bob McBride July 19, 2012 at 03:17 AM
You might want to get together with others in your building who may have similar concerns and attend the meeting on the 30th. It appears that the WFB BID is out of the loop to an extent in regards to this project.
Linda Lang Hazaert July 19, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Thanks Bob, that is a great idea, I'm on it! I love WFB and actually went to WFBHS (many moons ago) and really want the community businesses to succeed.
Jeff Rumage July 19, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Hi Linda, right now, the parking lot on the west end behind Eleta is going to be transformed into an apartment building without any parking. Some of the business owners and property owners on the eight-person Board of Directors made the suggestion of exploring a mix of retail or restaurants in addition to apartments, assuming the option of retaining parking spaces isn't on the table. I would suggest getting in touch with John Stuhlmacher or anyone else on the board, as they have been trying to gather opinions from Silver Spring stakeholders through emails and meetings. I'm sure your input would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Absolutelyfabulous July 19, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Does this discussion w/ regard to the creation of a TIF District (Tax Incremental Finance District) include the request by Mandel that the Village of Whitefish Bay reimuburse him for his investment in this development. I believe the request is for the Village to forgive $150,000 in taxes generated from this development for a period of between 10-15 yrs. This is in addition to the other monies requested. This may be a $27,000,000 development, but what will the assessed value be upon completion and how much tax revenue can be expected to be generated immediately and going forward. Remember, in Shorewood, Mandel's current $35,000,000 development that includes ~110 luxury apartments will have an ESTIMATED TAXABLE VALUE of ~$22,000,000 by the year 2039..25 yrs after the fact. Never once did they or have they ever informed the taxpayers of what the assessed value of the Shorewood development would be upon completion along w/ taxes generated after receiving over $9,000,000 in the way of TIF/Grants and whatever else they could throw at Mandel. In fact, in Shorewood either Mandel never requested that the village reimburse him for his investment in that project or they just buried it w/in all the $$$ they threw at him and never broached the subject in any way, shape or form. Though, if how things played out in Shorewood are any indication of what to expect in WFB, then everythings just for show going forward.
Linda Lang Hazaert July 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Thanks Jeff ( your post must have come in somewhere between my postings) I will talk with our business "neighbors". That is what is so cool about Silver Spring businesses, it's like a family of sorts :)
Absolutelyfabulous July 19, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Just for folly- 1st- New Land originally paid ~$12,000,000 for the Fox Bay parcel and the $$$$ was in the re-development potential of the parking lots in the rear. Now that Mandel has purchased those parking lots from Anchor Bank via foreclosure (which no sales price has been published in any media outlet) and essentially separated them from the Fox Bay building, how much is the Fox Bay building going to be assessed? Basically, w/ the musical chairs being played out in WFB, what are the current taxes being generated by the Fox Bay parcel and what will the taxes generated be after the Fox Bay parcel is most likely reassessed at a much lower value since the parking lots are no longer a part of the parcel? Then what will the assessed value of Mandels project be upon completion, not 25 yrs down the road, and how much will these contribute to the tax rolls. Now factor in all the concessions Mandel is seeking and how much in tax revenue will WFB ultimately expect to generate upon completion?
Shorelander July 19, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Unless 100 people showed up with pitchforks, this "public hearing" is just that. Gentle people, this project is going forward, exactly as Mandel has written it, plus or minus the sophomoric dabbling the WFB Architectural Review Commission will undoubtedly desire. Your public comments are roundly ignored in WFB. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Absolutelyfabulous July 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Shorelander- I get a kick out of "exacty as Mandel has written it" I get a kick out of the "decision" makers salivating at doing business w/ Mandel and what potential future business connections could result. In Milwaukee, they kicked Barry to the curb w/his ridiculous multi-million $$ demands and ultimately gave him millions less than what he told them he "needed" to make his development happen on the river.
Bob McBride July 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM
While that may be the case, I still think it's a good idea for the businesses directly effected to show up at the meeting. If nothing else, it'll present them with the opportunity to come face to face with what (or, rather, who) they're dealing with. Not bothering because it's a "done deal" makes even less sense.
Absolutelyfabulous July 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Bob- Unfortunately the decision makers in WFB "used" the residents when it was to their benefit and completely ignored/kept them out of the loop when they were no longer needed. I seem to remember New Land Enterprises wanting to build out these lots and the public came out in force and not only sent them back to the drawing board but also in the end were able to have them drastically reduce the size of their redevelopment proposals, though we all know what happened. Now, everything w/ Mandel has been decided/approved design/size wise w/out any public input sought/premilinary meetings held. It will be interesting to see how much detail will actually be reported on w/ regard to financials for this project.
Bob McBride July 20, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Understood, however I still suggest that business owners directly effected by the development show up and, if possible, ask direct questions regarding their concerns. Sometimes a non-answer, if thats what they get, can be as useful as an answer. If I'm a business owner attempting to determine the viability of the location I'm currently in over the long term, I certainly want to familiarize myself with the likelihood of adverse, or conversely, advantageous, future changes to the location as early as possible so as to make sure I'm prepared for either contingency.
Absolutelyfabulous July 20, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Bob- I'm not saying business owners shouldn't show up. Just the opposite. I found it interesting that either the owner of the Fox Bay Theater or their attorney mentioned that they wanted discussions out in the open. Remember, in Shorewood, a Church adjacent to Mandel's $35,000,000 development threw the wrench in the mix by complaining about how high the parking structure being constructed next to their property would be and how it would affect sunlight. Really, they were concerned about the lack of parking for their parishoners and all of the sudden this 5 story parking structure that was "too high" and potentially blocked out their sunlight became a 6 story parking structure at an additional cost of $1,000,000 that never seems to get mentioned in the final total of $$ bestowed upon Mandel/this development. Additionally, Sendik's (who's property is directly adjacent Mandel's development as well) received $200,000 free & clear to par-tay with along w/ a very low interest $150,000 loan. Now, I wonder what they threw in the mix to get these monies out of the Village of Shorewood. Also, this little side item was released publically after the project costs/grants/subsidies had been announced? Kind of slid in this little monetary item/released to the public long after the fact/approvals had been granted.
Absolutelyfabulous July 20, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Additionally, I forgot to add that 1/2 block away from the Sendik's in Shorewood and directly adjacent to Mandel's luxury development will be the remodeled Pick N Save into a very large Metro Market. Once again, this little bit of info. was only confirmed long after the monies given/loaned to Sendik's were publically announced, Now, Sendik's is going to get Sh*t kicked by the new Metro Market along w/ being totally beaten on price by the newly remodeled Sendik's in WFB. So, why would Shorewood give Sendik's $200,000 on top of a very low interest $150,000 loan. Also, Sendik's never owned either parking lot adjacent to their business that patrons used. 1 was owned by Katz and the other by the Village of Shorewood and their lease agreement w/ Sendik's was up very soon. All these pieces to the puzzle intertwined and information strategically released to the public at various times when in what appears to have been to the benefit of those involved and soften/negate the public backlash at all the monies ultimately involved.
Jay Sykes July 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM
@Jeff Rumage... Has Mandel purchased all of the parking lots or do they only currently own the lot closest to Santa Monica and will buy the balance of the parking lot property if the project receives approval?
Absolutelyfabulous July 20, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Jay- That would be interesting, but jumping back into Shorewood and Mandel's luxury development there. (Sorry, I just want to possibly give you a heads up on how things may be handled since the situation seems to be repeating itself in WFB) It was NEVER published what Mandel "paid" for the parking lots that were necessary to build the 103 apartments in Shorewood. In fact, it was never mentioned if anything was paid at all for the village owned parcel or was it "Granted" to Mandel. The village never released detailed financials outlining who paid what for what or better yet, how much of a value was attributed to the Village owned parking lot in Shorewood that will soon house a 103 apartment building. Is the Village of WFB going to give Mandel their lots in addition to him requesting a TIF be created as well seeking reimbursment for his investment in the project? Is his investment the cost to purchase the Village owned and extremely valuable lots or is that completely separate? BTW..Why doesn't someone ask how much of HIS own money Mandel is actually kicking into this project. How much of a steal/deal did he get on purchasing the foreclosed lots from Anchor Bank. Those lots have much less value since the only viable way to capitalize on them was to receive not only zoning changes (which WFB controlled) but also the incorporation of the Village owned lots.
Absolutelyfabulous July 20, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Jay- Then again, why would Mandel purchase the foreclosed lot behind the Fox Bay Theater to do a development that was reliant upon combining privately and village owned lots if he didn't have guarantees on the Village owned lots in terms of what price, if any, would be paid and that they would be rezoned to allow for his development? I think people can ask all the questions they want, it's just a matter if you will get any answers and relevant as well, since none were forthcoming in Shorewood.

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