Listening To The Public On St. Adalbert

On Tuesday, we held the formal public hearing on the proposed Gorman & Co. development at St. Adalbert’s — and I want to thank everyone who spoke up to ensure their voices were heard on the issue.

This is democracy in action.

The common council heard dozens of comments over two-plus hours, some opposed, some in favor. The hearing stayed civil throughout, and I appreciate that. The crowd of close to 200 respected the ground rules, and I think that led to a better hearing.

One key point made the meeting: Gorman is offering to reduce the number of units in its proposed development from 37 to 31. A letter indicating that was read into the record.

Next up: The city council is expected to consider the rezoning proposal at its next meeting, Dec. 16 at City Hall. I’ll keep you posted.


Filed under City Council, Development, South Milwaukee

18 responses to “Listening To The Public On St. Adalbert

  1. Pug

    I thought we had already rejected this matter. Why are we doing this again? We have enough “affordable housing” in this city.

    • Rick

      This was the official public hearing. The previous meeting that went out of control was an informational meeting. Based on the comments from the public hearing, the Council will now vote. By having Gorman reduce the number of units to 31 makes for a better development.

      • Ryan

        This is not a better development having 31 units. If you listened to the citizens of SM many more were against this development then in favor. Many of the ones in favor of it came from Franklin, Oak Creek, Milwaukee and Cudahy. It’s time for the elected officials of SM to listen to the citizens and vote NO to this project. Time to head back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan, I personally like placing single or dual family homes there. Lets actually try to move the city forward for a promising future.

      • Cathy

        What I find interesting is that this is a re-zoning issue. Even if the re-zoning doesn’t go through, this issue will eventually come up again if there would be another buyer. Would Divine Mercy have to go through this again and again, while the building sits empty and deteriorating, until the “neighborhood” gives the ok as to what can go there?
        Many people would like to see St. Adalbert continue to be a church. Would the neighborhood be welcoming to a north side church, a mosque, or a temple? Or would there again be issues about density, traffic and crime?
        Any development is important to the entire city – not just a few blocks. Hopefully the city officials will look at the whole picture with South Milwaukee’s future in mind.

      • SM Guy

        But HOW did they reduce the number of units? Did they create more green space or common areas? Or did they combine, for example, two singles and make them into a double, or worse a 3-bedroom? That makes a big difference and could actually be worse. You might be replacing two single people with a bunch of kids, who will now need even more city services.

  2. Frank Gratke

    A would to compliment the Mayor for a running a very orderly meeting. That has been very difficult thing to do over the years. It was very refreshing to see.
    Frank “Disco” G

  3. Maria Wittliff

    After the meeting last night, I had some thoughts of how the could be beneficial to our community.

    Hold weddings. There are always date conflicts for weddings. Take advantage of the hall and parking spaces.

    Get a catering business in there. Then you could hold birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

    Bring in a licensed day care center. There are always teachers that are looking for work and although the pay wouldn’t be good, the experience would go far on a resume. Make sure they have CPR experience. Of course, charge a fee for sitting services. This would benefit our small children greatly thereby helping the community.

    Use the gym but children can only come in with AN ADULT with them. It’s not a drop them off and leave thing thereby making sure someone is responsible for them.

    Just some food for thought.

    Thanks, Maria

  4. Julia Esaman

    I have been reading the plan for the Gorman & CO to develop apartments in the vacant St. Adalbert’ s buildings and would like to make some comments. Although, I do not live in South Milwaukee, I do have a Antique Store on Milwaukee Ave. and I can see the empty stores around downtown. Looking over the proposal that Gorman & CO have presented to the people of South Milwaukee, it seems that the people are not looking at the logo for South Milwaukee, “Proud Past, Promising Future” Looking at the other developments that Gorman & Co have completed, they have preserved the old structure of the buildings while making apartments. They can keep our area part of the “Proud Past”of South Milwaukee while making a “Promising Future” for the businesses in the area. It will create jobs and Tax income for SM while making our city looking revitalized.
    Julia Esaman
    Memory Lane Antiques

  5. Nicole

    I (as well as other residents of this “neighborhood”, as it was referred to) am frankly sick and tired of being accused of being racist, elitist, xenophobic, or just plain “unchristian”. The fact of the matter is, there is no way this large of a development on one or two city blocks will not have some impact. Concerns were largely about traffic, congestion and loss of resale value. I find it hard to believe that anyone who supports this (especially the residents of oak creek) would be thrilled to have this same proposal on their street.
    South Milwaukee is beginning a positive trajectory, thanks to some of the latest additions to the downtown area. A vibrant and lively downtown will bring people here, and revitalize this city. And I believe this can happen. Look at Bay View’s downtown. Encouraging restaurants, shops and other small businesses is the way to bring new residents to fill our surplus of existing rental properties. I’m sorry if this “neighborhood” and the “few blocks” that make it up are holding up Gorman and Divine Mercys idea of progress.

    • Concerned citizen of SM

      I agree with what you say regarding being accused. Race etc has absolutley nothing to do with the concern of the residents. What SM needs are more business, restaurants etc to the downtown area, bring in business that want to be here and will be an asset and help to improve the facade of the downtown area. Does anyone know what is happening with the old AMF South park? How about a microbrew and resturant?

      Concerned citizen of SM

      • Concered Citizen: I agree with putting a focus downtown. To answer your question about AMF, it remains for sale, and I don’t think interest has been very strong in the site. It has its challenges, but it also has lots of potential. You just don’t see seven-acre sites come open in South Milwaukee very often. So I am hopeful for what the future will bring there. We will make marketing that site a priority once we get a new economic development coordinator on board. I want to be more proactive in marketing our high-value vacant parcels like this.

  6. SM Guy

    I would like to remind everybody that when some of us say that we have “more than enough”, it isn’t just hyperbole. Marina Cliffs was supposed to be torn down due to its illegal construction. The city gave up on pursing that. Therefore, we currently have more than we should, so we sure don’t need any more.

  7. SM Girl

    I agree with many on this thread.

    I am a caring member of this community, one that volunteers, donates and cares deeply for my fellow man. I just cannot support development of another low income multi-family property in South Milwaukee. We need to attract more young families that will be property owners that will contribute to our tax base and enroll kids in our schools.

    A member of Divine Mercy Parish and a resident of South Milwaukee

    • Elissa Mross

      I absolutely agree. Any more low income projects in South Milwaukee will deter business growth and potential home buyers looking to come to this area. How many times do the “actual residents of this city” have to say we don’t want this project approved. With our new mayor, SM is in it’s infancy of trying to rebuild itself and it’s image – this is our step forward and a low income project will be two steps back. We as a city will continue to be stagnant until we come up with better ideas other than low income or senior citizen. Let’s propose an idea that will actually improve the city and property values. City officials may have to talk other to other cities that have booming business growth like Greendale, Cedarburg, Oak Creek and Bayview. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Many old churches and factories have been converted for other uses, this problem is one of a lack of creativity and thinking outside the box.

  8. Lauren

    Would the city consider purchasing the property for use as a community center/city park? It could be named for the Lions Club like in Franklin.

  9. Lauren: Good question. I would never want to rule anything out 100%, but I don’t see that as a possiblity in the short to medium term, not with budget realities and other priorities.

  10. Cathy

    FYI. Read December 11, 2014 Business section of JSOnline. 3 developers are proposing apartment projects in Cudahy.

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