PNC Bank, Retail Building Coming to Silver Spring

Buildings near Bayshore should be ready by end of this year.

Construction will soon be under way on a new PNC Bank building and an adjacent retail building on the west end of Silver Spring Drive, near Bayshore Town Center.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the project Monday night.

The site at 106-130 W. Silver Spring Dr. was formerly a funeral home and a law office, but those buildings have been razed to make way for the bank at the northeast corner of Lydell Avenue and Silver Spring Drive and a retail building just east of the bank, on the northwest corner of Bay Ridge Avenue and Silver Spring Drive.

The developer, Tom Schafer of Bayside Development, hopes to have both buildings finished by the end of the year.

The two-story, 6,000-square-foot PNC Bank building, which includes a drive-thru ATM, received architectural approval from the village in December.

The architectural plans for the retail building will go before the Architectural Review Commission later this month. The plans are required to be similar for each building.

No tenants have been announced for the retail building, but the agreement approved by the board specifies which types of businesses can open their doors. Businesses must operate within the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The single story, 6,000-square-foot retail building has the potential to house four tenants, but those spaces could be combined at the request of a client, said Deborah Tomczyk, an attorney representing the developer. At least one lease has been signed on the retail building, she said.

Bob McBride February 09, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Kind of a shame they tore down that interesting, if not particularly revenue-generating-friendly, Victorian 3-story in order to build yet another one of these unimaginative, cookie-cutter boxes. But I guess in this day and age you have to be happy to have anything new going up anywhere. Frankly, I don't think it matters much what they put in there. As Bayshore is just across the street there's not much lacking. Ideally you'd have some locally owned, non-franchised business, but those just don't seem to be able to hang around for very long. You only have to look a couple blocks east to see that. If they can land some solid tenants who'll stay for awhile so that we don't end up with yet more vacant store fronts on Silver Spring, that'll be good enough for me.
John February 09, 2011 at 09:59 PM
While I agree that its a shame that the Victorian home could'nt be saved I disagree with your statement that localy owend stores don't last. If you look east you will see some of the oldest stores in the North Shore Winkie's, Sendiks, Schwanke Kasten Jewlers, Theit Jewlers, The Bay Bakery, Ruhamas, Placesetters, Fitzgearlds, Les Moise just to name a few. Sometimes people look at the few stores that might not have worked and say something like look at all the empty storefronts (which there are only 4) when you might want to look at all the long time stores. Just some food for thought.
Bob McBride February 09, 2011 at 10:19 PM
John, I was referring to the more recent attempts, like Milwaukee's Finest Guitars and the two restaurants (or is it 3) that didn't last very long in the old liquor store. I understand that there are some long time fixtures that have local roots. It's just that, of late, the places that seem to survive are chains like Starbucks - established draws. And if you look one block west you can add a number of empty storefronts to the 4 your mentioned. For whatever reason it seems that it's harder these days for a small, locally rooted establishment to take hold than it was in the past. Just look at the list you've given - most of those stores have been around since I was a kid, and that's going waayyyyyyy back in time. I guess my point is that there's really nothing missing currently in the mix that might warrant additional retail space, particularly when we've got a half empty strip-mall just west of this location, 4 (to use your number) available spaces to the east and, I believe, a couple more to the west on the south side of the street. If we must have more retail space, I just hope we don't end up with a half empty property. The area really doesn't need and possibly can't support it.
John February 10, 2011 at 05:19 AM
Bob you can’t now say that shops have been there to long and you shouldn’t count vacant Glendale spaces as vacant Whitefish Bay spaces. You said "Ideally you'd have some locally owned, non-franchised business, but those just don't seem to be able to hang around for very long. You only have to look a couple blocks east to see that." If you count there are 4 vacant spaces in Whitefish Bay on Silver Spring. To Say only places like Starbucks is able to "survive" is offensive to our great local retailers on Silver Spring to mention just a few Minoan, Three Wishes, Hounds Around Town, Breadsmith, Mobility, Gallery 505, The Great Frame Up, Stone Creek Coffee, Penzeys Spices, Amimi Rugs, New Options, Zita Peg Bradley and so on basically we have a great tradition of people achieving the American dream in our community. Yes sadly there are some failures but overall Whitefish Bay is a huge success story and I am proud to be involved in it.
Bob McBride February 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM
John, You've zeroed in on one portion of my original comment regarding one-off establishments and run with that, rather than addressing the real issue which is the need for more retail space in the area. I never said ALL one-offs don't make it. I certainly didn't say those that have been here for ages have been here "to" long. I made an observation, and an accurate one, that of the new businesses coming into the area lately it's been those that were one-offs that were less apt to survive. The same could be said of Shorewood and other, similar sized communities in the area. As regards adding more retail space, you can't just ignore everything west of Lydell or pretend Bay Shore doesn't exist. I don't think any of the businesses you mentioned would be foolish enough to do so. Limiting the discussion to 4 vacancies to the east when considering the addition of more retail space to the area is turning a blind eye to the realities of the entire area. I sincerely hope the developer is able to fill his storefronts with businesses that will thrive and succeed in the area. Whether those businesses are locally owned or part of a franchise doesn't really matter - if they succeed. I don't pretend to be an expert on retail development, but if what we end up with is further duplication of what we already have, it will hamper the chances of their survival and may possibly hurt those existing businesses you mentioned above.
Derick February 11, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Take a look at the successfull development on oakland ave in Shorewood. Four story buildings with retail on the first floor and residential above with underground parking. Good use of space and property tax generator for Shorwood, unlike the new PNC building and the clinic.
Bob McBride February 11, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Derick, I agree. For whatever reason Shorewood does seem to be able to attract better looking developments and make more efficient usage of its prime retail real estate. Some of that may be zoning related. I don't know what WFB's zoning restrictions are for multi-story properties, but I do seem to recall there were some issues related to the multi-story project on the corner of Lake Drive and Silver Spring, and also the proposed project for the parking lot just behind the Fox-Bay building. I agree that the clinic on Silver Spring, smack in the middle of the retail district with no other usage of that large piece of property seems counter-productive if the intent is to provide a thriving retail district. If part of the problem with getting developers to look into vacant lots or buildings is the restriction on number of stories, perhaps that needs to be revisited. Most developments going up elsewhere do seem to be of the 3-4 story variety. No doubt any developer wants to get the maximum bang for their buck.


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