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Shorewood Considers Redevelopment

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The Village of Shorewood and the Shorewood Community Development Authority (CDA) are working on a plan to expand their current Tax Incremental Financing District #1 (TID #1). When an area has TID status the municipality borrows money to invest in improvements — street reconstruction, facade grants, and redevelopment of specific sites. Those improvements then increase property values and expand the tax base. The loans are repaid with tax dollars from the increased value of TID properties. This provides an alternative to raising taxes. Shorewood’s TID #1, which runs on Oakland Avenue north of Capitol Drive, was created in 1995. Since then, the residential and commercial redevelopment in that area helped reverse the business district decline and increased property values more than 70%. Now Shorewood wants to expand their TID #1 to bring similar benefits to a parcel running along Capitol Drive from the River to Downer Avenue, and on Oakland Avenue south of Capitol to Edgewood Avenue (see map). The plan would include pedestrian-friendly changes like streetscaping, benches, bike racks, and sidewalk cafes, enhancing Shorewood’s physical appearance while easing its parking problems. The proposed expansion of TID #1 includes land along the Milwaukee River between the north boundary of Hubbard Park and Estabrook Park. Most of the riverway is owned by public entities, but Riverbrook Restaurant, Milwaukee PC, Bauer Paper, and the owners of two apartment buildings own these particular parcels that are zoned commercial/light industrial. Shorewood’s preliminary plan, which goes to the State for approval on September 30, requests that zoning be changed to commercial/residential. This would still mean that business or condo development could interrupt public access to the woods and trails along that stretch of the river. Mike Maher, Shorewood Village Trustee, proposed modifying their initial plan to include purchasing that section of the riverlands to protect and preserve the green space. “The vote was 5-2 to proceed to send it to the state as is, with the commitment to pay particular attention to this area when they do the comprehensive plan in the fall,” Maher says. “So I’m hopeful that people are committed to doing this.” The Community Development Authority has the Village Board approval to work on the comprehensive plan with an urban planning group. “It’s a very innovative group,” Maher says. “People that look to preserve the nature of the community while still moving forward.” When asked if the Village Board is committed to consider purchasing or doing whatever is necessary to protect and preserve the riverlands, Leeann Butschlick, Assistant to Village Manager Chris Shwartz, said, “I wouldn’t say that they’re committed. There certainly have been discussions to explore that as an option, but no formal action has been taken on that.” Butschlick adds, “Technically there’s no private access there now. Anything that we do can only improve that. There’s been preliminary discussion about how to create public access there and still utilize those parcels to their highest and best use.” Do You Have Questions? Direct your questions or comments to Carl Templer, Exec. Director of the Shorewood Business Improvement District at 414-964-3484 or carl@shore woodwi.com; Village Trustee Michael Maher at ; Shorewood Village Board President Mark Kohlenberg at ; Village Board Manager Chris Schwartz at 414-847-2700 or manager@villageof shorewood.org. Additional meetings on the TID expansion will be posted on the Village website, www.villageofshorewood.org, at the Village Hall, or at Shorewood Public Library. All meetings are open to the public.
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