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August 2014

23

City of Oconomowoc Mayor meeting with Fong's owner

Parcel needed for Village Green expansion

City of Oconomowoc - While the city has unveiled its plans for an expanded Village Green and revamped waterfront, one main component remains unsure: whether the building that houses Fong's - owned by restaurant proprietor Tommy Lin - will remain.

There was some confusion over whether Fong's was holding out on negotiating a sale of his business after a city presentation showed a slide for the area of an expanded Village Green that wrapped around Lin's building. However, Mayor Jim Daley said that was simply an oversight, and the plan all along has been to include that parcel in the expansion.

Daley said he met with Lin on Monday to discuss the matter. He said after the meeting he felt optimistic the city will be able to work out a deal with Lin. In its plans to expand Village Green, Fong's would need to be razed, along with three other buildings already owned by the city. This summer, the city approved swapping land it owned with Bob Felker's properties along Main Street adjacent to Village Green for its expansion. Fong's would be the last building in the project area.

"We are continuing discussions to find a solution that is fair to the taxpayers and Mr. Lin. I think we made some progress, but it's going to take some time," said Daley. Fong declined to comment.

There is no apparent time crunch regarding the expansion of Village Green. After Community Design Solutions presented updated plans for the Village Green and Fowler Lake waterfront Nov. 5, City Planner Adam Sayre said next is review of the plans by various city committees. He said that won't likely be complete until early 2013. Then there's the question of what the project will cost. Sayre said CDS is working on a rough estimate and hopes to share those figures at the Nov. 20 Common Council meeting.

To view the plans, visit the city's website, www.oconomowoc-wi.gov.

Other project approvals

The apartment complex planned for the corner of Worthington Street and Wisconsin Avenue, now called The Worthington, was set for review and approval of combining lots and the design at Wednesday's Plan Commission meeting. If approved, City Planner Jason Gallo said the developer can begin construction. That meeting took place after this paper went to press.

Construction on The Worthington is not expected to begin until spring 2013 with a spring 2014 completion, but the city will begin asbestos removal and preparation to raze the existing buildings at the future apartment complex site as part of a deal with the developer in the land swap. The existing buildings will be removed before the end of the year.

Also on Wednesday, the Architectural Commission was slated to review plans for reconstruction of Maureen Stapleton's building on North Main Street. Stapleton Realty was destroyed by fire July 1. Stapleton said she will publicly share the architectural renderings if they are approved Wednesday night. She said there are a few surprises in store for the downtown building.

The Oconomowoc School Apartments is also on Wednesday night's agenda, with a request to separate lots as it makes plans to begin construction of 55 loft-style apartments in the former Oconomowoc Middle School. The project is expected to be complete by next summer.

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