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Silver Spring Visioning Session

Redevelopment, Silver Spring

You may have noticed I haven't written in over a week.  I took my family to Sanibel Island to escape this ever-lasting Wisconsin winter.  Had a great time, and will consider spending a week down there every winter.   We had a "cold" day which brought an amusing moment.  Temps dipped to 45 with some wind, so they issued ..wait for it .. a "Wind Chill Advisory".   Sissies.

In any event, I was disappointed (not really) to miss the Silver Spring Visioning Session at the WFB library on Thursday.  However, I asked a few loyal readers to report back, if they went, and I'd post their reports.  One did today, so I am posting his report below:


This report comes from Dr. Gordon Lang: 

First, a brief introduction by Jim Roemer.  I came late and only heard his introduction of Professor Harvey Rabinowitz, UWM School of Architecture.  I did not count but I would estimate 50 attendees.
 
Professor Rabinowitz gave a 15 minute Power Point Presentation.  He pointed out the Silver Spring "icons" of Sendiks, Winkie's, Starbucks, Bruegger's , Fox Bay Theater and the clock to be soon repaired.
 
He reviewed the November 15, 2007 meeting when there was discussion of a desire of a friendly street, retailer synergies, more restaurants, additional residential opportunities, extended hours and improved parking.
 
He envisioned the Silver Spring project to be completed in 3 - 8a years. As he is a frequent visitor of New York and Manhattan he showed examples of friendly business districts that gives one a "memorable experience."  He showed several of his favorite places that would be great for Silver Spring. His favorite is www.Zabars.com. Other were fancy supermarkets and a bagel place to name a few.
 
He expressed interest in a farmers market. He mentioned his frequent visits to the West Allis Farmers Market. I could readily relate to that as I was taken there by my parents when I was 2-3 years of age;  still go there many times in the summer and fall. The West Allis Market does give one a "memorable experience." (I have even uploaded photos of it on www.westallisnow.com.)
 
He then turned the attendees to "brainstorming" sessions of the Zita Block, Talbot's/Famous Footwear Block, Fitzgerald's/Associate Bank/Parking Lots/Fox Bay area, Sendiks/ Masonic Lodge and Winkie's/parking lot Area. Each session had one of Professor Rabinowitz's students record and later report on comments and suggestions.
 
Zita Block- not much discussion- possible multilevel housing above retail stores.
 
Talbot's Block- First Floor Retail-second floor housing and/or business office space. A possible Garden Center. There were some that expressed interest in a CVS and some were against it. (As you know I am against a Aurora Clinic Building.) Some were for it. I had the opportunity to discuss Aurora with a nice friendly Aurora representative. She indicated they were only interested in a 3-6 physician office and not a 16 physician clinic that was mentioned previously. I personally would not have any objection to Aurora or any other groups having physician office space on the second floor, or in a mall-like corridor behind frontal retail establishments.
 
Fox Bay Area -Fitzgerald's Property- Some were for closing Consaul Place between Sendik's and the Fitzgerald Block. A Restaurant as a anchor. Parking lot build up. Retail on street level. Condos and office on second level. Fox Bay Theater brought up to date. Have a green space area for kids to play when moms go shopping, sporting goods store, bicycle shop.
 
Sendik's/Masonic Lodge Area- Move Sendik's closer to Street. Eliminate parking in front of Sendik's with green space. Enlarged Sendik's with modernization. Have Sendik's connect their main building with the fish market building. Take over Masonic Lodge. I heard that the Lodge has never been offered market value for it. The Lodge must have an acceptable site to relocate.  A farmer's market area was also  suggested. ( Not a good location in my opinion.)  Parking.
 
Winkie's/Parking Lot-Furniture Store, Bicycle Store, Ice Cream Shop were suggested.
 
After the students gave their presentations Professor Rabinowitz indicated that in the next 3-4 weeks he will digest all of the suggestions and make a report.
 
There was then some discussion of how to accomplish the revitalization of Silver Spring.  Present owners to be involved and their ideas respected. Community opinions. One person indicated that developers do not have a favorable opinion about Whitefish Bay. I'm sure after past experiences, with especially the Armory that this is possibly correct. Professor Rabinowitz indicated that developers like and expect competition but they also hope that they or at least someone wins. (None won at the Armory). He indicated that there was competition for the old hospital site in Shorewood and the Mandel group won and the condos are now complete.
 
There was some concern that the Whitefish Bay web has been down for a long time. Jim Grassman indicated that is will be up later in March. Kathleen Pritchard thanked everyone for their participation.
 
Some wished that there could be more about Whitefish Bay in the North Shore Now. Jim Roemer said he would talk to Jane Ford-Stewart about this. (She called me today and I told her of this). I mentioned www.whitefishbaynow.com and your Blog.

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