After a lengthy discussion, the Monona Plan Commission approved a number of requests for the development of Treysta on the Water, a mixed-use development to be built at the former Hickory Lane Mobile Home Park on West Broadway.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, the Plan Commission looked at the Treysta Group’s zoning permit, site plans and building evaluations. The proposed structure would house 121 residential apartment units and feature 17,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Treysta Group, LLC President Robin Pharo said she’s addressed some height issues the commission had about the proposal.
“We’ve worked through all of that,” Pharo said. “It’s not a high-rise situation.”
Pharo also took the commission’s suggestions to add more windows and improve its siding material. Pharo said the Treysta Group also made modifications to the north end and the restaurant proposal on the south end.
The Treysta Group, along with its architects, looked at making the structure more accessible to Broadway.
Monona City Planner Paul Kachelmeier said parking was a big issue, and the commission worried about whether a fire truck could access the lot without problems. The commission also questioned whether a vehicle with a boat could easily access the lot.
“We took a look at the city’s largest fire truck and it should be accommodating,” Kachelmeier said.
The commission also viewed a presentation on the types of vegetation Treysta on the Water would feature. The commission wanted the proposal to increase its landscape value and architects believe they have by including a variety of “native species.”
The commission also proposed adding a minor retention area for stormwater runoff.
Commission member Chris Homburg said the revised proposal “looks awesome.” However, Homburg had some concerns with landscaping.
“It’s a bit aggressive,” he said. “There are not a lot of places where you can put landscaping in.”
As for the courtyard, Pharo said it would be semi-public and won’t be gated. She also said her group will be coming back to the commission for approval on lighting projects.
Commission looks at apartment complex
Also on Sept. 26, the commission held a public hearing to address a proposal from 5001 Monona Drive, LLC for a new residential apartment building and four town house units at the former UW Clinic site at 5001 Monona Drive.
The residential building, proposed by consultant Cari Fuss and Brian Stoddard of Avenue Architects, Inc., would house 51 units in a three-story structure.
“I’ve lived here for 16 years and have become intimately involved in this community,” Fuss said. “It’s near and dear to my heart. (The project) is an opportunity for the Monona taxpayer and it could breathe new life into Monona Drive, especially with the redevelopment.”
Fuss said the northern corridor of Monona Drive hasn’t seen substantial change in a several years.
“We need to set the standard for future development in the corridor,” she said. “What will stand the test of time?”
Stoddard said the townhouses would be a typical duplex with three-bedroom units on the second floor. Fuss said the units would be trying to attract young professionals or families experiencing life changes, such as divorce.
“This is not a project that will be built, leased up and then flipped (for sale). We intend this to be a long-term investment, something that our family and future families would want to live in,” Fuss said.
Fuss also said that, with Monona looking for ways to increase its tax base and enrollment in its school district, the proposal would make sense.
Homburg said he was thrilled to see the proposal’s site plans, but has a different view of Monona’s Drive’s future.
“I don’t envision residential units up and down Monona Drive. I worry about us starting to pick away at our commercial base,” he said. “It’s a great proposal, but I’m not convinced that replacing the commercial base is right for Monona.”
Some commission members expressed concern with the building’s close proximity to Monona Drive and the architectural look not matching other businesses.
“If you want us to pull back from our initial plans, we can do that,” Fuss said.
The next Monona Plan Commission meeting will take place on Oct. 8.