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Shorewood officials eye plans for senior living facility

July 17, 2013

Shorewood — The Shorewood Plan Commission on Tuesday had its first glimpse of a proposed senior living facility on the former Pig N' Whistle and Sherburn Place Apartments sites on Capitol Drive at the village's western edge.

Florida-based senior living firm Harbor Retirement Associates presented a preliminary site plan for a combined 96-unit assisted living and memory-care facility in Shorewood's third tax incremental financing district.

This was the first of three meetings at which the Plan Commission will discuss the project. At the third meeting, the Plan Commission will vote on it. Because the site lies in a planned development district, both the Plan Commission and the Village Board have to give the project a green light by approving a conditional use permit and crafting a development agreement with HRA.

Village Manager Chris Swartz said they hope to complete this process by August or September. Before that can happen, however, additional questions that came up at the first Plan Commission meeting need to be answered and details hammered out.

If all goes well, the senior living facility could be constructed as early as mid-2015, said Charles Jennings, HRA's chief development officer.

"We first became aware of the Shorewood community four months ago and immediately fell in love with not only the site but the community," he said.

Parking a problem

The Plan Commission directed the project architects to review the placement of the front parking lot, which per the plans would sit on Capitol Drive where the facility's main entrance would be located. There are 55 underground parking spaces and 21 surface spaces in the plan, a few of which would be along Capitol Drive.

Plan Commission member Tom Hofman said though parking is needed, he would like to see a more aesthetic green space by the entranceway, as opposed to a parking lot.

Parking will be one of the most difficult parts of the site plan, Swartz said.

New road planned

Public parking would also be located on a new public road that would feed into the senior living facility and a parcel behind the complex; the road would run parallel with the Milwaukee River on the bluff. This road is part of the village's river site restoration plan. Shorewood would maintain the road, and it would be constructed based on village standards, Swartz said.

Construction of the road, however, would most likely be a public and private partnership between HRA and the village. Details of the roadway will be worked out in the development agreement. Plan Commission members asked the project architects to better illustrate this road for the next meeting.

Swartz said the goal is to make the roadway look like a residential road, with lighting and tree lines on both sides.

Plan Commission members also discussed the possibility of putting in a sidewalk on at least one side of the roadway because of the view of the river from the bluff.

Jennings said HRA will assist in the design process.

"We think it will be an amenity to Shorewood and to our community," he said.

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