Glendale - Developer Michael Klein's proposal to build four one-story apartment buildings on the former Dove Healthcare site was met with a rocky reception during the Glendale Plan Commission meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Klein is proposing to demolish the former nursing home at 1633 W. Bender Road, which has deteriorated greatly since it was vacated in 2007. In its place, he would build four townhome-style apartment buildings, with each apartment having its own entrance and patio area. The development, which is estimated to cost about $7.5 million, would include a party room, fitness center, on-site management offices and outdoor play space.
The south quarter of the property will be acquired for neighboring David Hobbs Honda, which plans to create a 250-stall parking lot.
Klein wanted to keep the apartment building at the same height as the nursing home out of respect to neighbors, but the long, one-story buildings didn't appeal to Glendale plan commissioners, who compared them to Army barracks and a Motel 6.
Klein pointed out that he was using high-quality stone and wood on the exterior, and that each of the units have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a washer and dryer. He said his target demographic is young professionals and some empty-nesters.
Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy said he drives by the property every morning, and he is eager to see it redeveloped. He said the concept has merit, but the overall aesthetic is similar to a dated apartment building he rented in his college years.
"I’m wondering how you are going to attract the type of clientele you say you are going to attract if it looks like a place I lived in when I was 21," Kennedy said.
The 57 units include two one-bedrooms, 44 two-bedrooms and 11 three-bedrooms. The one-bedrooms would rent for $950 per month, the two-bedrooms for $1,350 per month and the three-bedrooms for $900 per month.
The three-bedrooms are discounted through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which is administered by Milwaukee County. The program subsidizes construction costs of the three-bedroom units, allowing the developer to charge lower rents. No more than 11 units in each development can be funded through the HOME program. To qualify for a reduced-price, three-bedroom apartment, a family of three cannot make more than $50,000, Klein said.
The plan commission was split whether they wanted to even bring the proposal to a public hearing, but Kennedy broke the tie and voted to schedule the public hearing because he wanted to hear feedback from neighbors. The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 6.
The HOME funding expires at the end of the year, so by Dec. 31, the developers would need a letter from the city of Glendale saying that the property will be rezoned for 57 apartments.
To expedite the process, the plan commission decided to consider the rezoning aspect of the proposal separately from Klein's specific design proposal. This will give the developers the documentation they need to receive the HOME funding, but allows time for the city and developer to work together to find a more attractive design. If Klein's proposal is ultimately rejected, any future projects would still require city approval.
The council once again split in regards to whether it should recommend the common council rezone the property. Kennedy once again cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of rezoning the property. The common council will meet in November to schedule a public hearing on the rezoning question in December.