Beaver Creek project consideration delayed until September

June 21, 2013

Brown Deer — Deliberations over developer General Capital's plans at the Beaver Creek site at 60th Street and Brown Deer Road will have to wait until September at the earliest, Brown Deer Village Attorney John Fuchs wrote to Village President Carl Kreuger and the Village Board in a June 20 memo.

According to the memo, Fuchs and attorney Alan Marcuvitz, representing Brown Deer, met with representatives of General Capital on Wednesday to discuss the developer's controversial proposal for 44 apartments on the Beaver Creek site, with a mixture of market rate, low-income, and disability friendly units — similar to the Bradley Crossing Supportive Housing Community the developer opened in tandem with Jewish Family Services in late-2012.

The attorneys and General Capital agreed that the Beaver Creek project not come before village officials for further consideration until "some time after Labor Day," according to the memo.

Exploring altermatives

"This will afford General Capital the opportunity to explore possible alternatives for development of the site," Fuchs wrote. "Realistically, the current condominium plan is not compatible with present market conditions."

Contacted Friday, General Capital President Michael Weiss declined to comment on what the project may look like when it comes back before village officials.

"We will be taking a deep breath and considering alternatives," Weiss wrote in an email. "No specifics anytime soon."

In 2007, General Capital entered into a development agreement with the village that required 51 owner-occupied condominiums on the site. The developer built 10 before the economy crashed in 2008, selling four and eventually renting the other six. Trying to salvage its investment in the site, General Capital has entreated village officials to rezone the Beaver Creek site to allow for a development similar to Bradley Crossing, which has been a commercial success and currently has a deep waiting list.

Unpopular with neighbors

When Beaver Creek neighbors caught wind of General Capital's plans in late-winter they organized a petition drive, bringing in 1,080 signatures in an effort to make sure village officials stuck to the original 2007 agreement for condominiums. Since then, the neighbors and petitioners have repeatedly packed public meetings to argue for the advantages of owner-occupied housing on the site instead of rentals.

Drawing criticism from opponents who suspected the developer was employing delaying tactics to wait them out, General Capital recently asked for a delay from the Plan Commission, and last week didn't go to a Community Development Authority meeting, prompting CDA members to remove the agenda item which could have had them considering additional taxpayer support beyond the $1.75 million Brown Deer has already invested in the site.

Petition organizer Don Uebelacker said he and others will continue to come to public meetings and argue against the project if General Capital returns with another proposal for rentals.

"If they come back with apartments, they're going to go through the same thing, because that's what the petition was all about," Uebelacker said. "...Hopefully we don't have to do this, but if we need to, we will."

Fuchs wrote in the memo that the village will go beyond the requirements of state statutes to notify area residents when the Beaver Creek project comes before the CDA, Plan Commission or Village Board.

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