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Debate grows over Brown Deer housing plans

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Debate grows over Brown Deer housing plans

By Jermont Terry. CREATED Aug 21, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 21, 2014

BROWN DEER - Residents in Brown Deer blocked an affordable housing complex from being built in their neighborhood in 2013. But now, something new could be coming to the property.  Only ten units were built at the Beaver Creek Condo community at 60th and Brown Deer Road. The condos simply did not sell. The land left nearby homeowners like Jim Fritsche with many questions.

“Who’s going to buy it and what’s going in there,” asked Fritsche.

In May 2013 the developer, General Capital tried to convince the Village of Brown Deer to rezone the property and allow them to build an affordable housing apartment complex. The community opposed.

Now more than a year later a new developer, RNT Development, wants to turn the condo community into 130 unit senior assisted living facility.

“We have enough senior apartments, Bradley Road is filled with them,” said Fritsche.

His house backs up to the proposed site. He was against the affordable housing complex and isn’t opened to this new proposal.

But other neighbors are okay with plan.

“That’s fine, excellent,” said James Krueger.

Krueger has lived off 60th Street since 1977. While he would prefer homeowners he questioned why the village didn’t tell residents of the proposal yet.

“We started informing people this week,” said Nate Piotrowski, the community development director for the village.

Piotrowski added the village believes this senior assisted living plan is good for Brown Deer.

“We think this makes sense given the economic reality of the housing market,” said Piotrowski.

Many residents told the I-Team they felt both the new developer and the village were moving too quickly.

“It may be perceived as moving too quickly because the developer is looking at construction later this fall,” said Piotrowski.

Fritsche expressed whether there could be a bait and switch. He questioned what is guarantee these units won’t be converted back to renters.

“There's a long way to go and we've love to hear from the community,” said Piotrowski.

The village will have an informational meeting on Monday August 25, 2014 at the Brown Deer Village Hall. The meeting starts at 7pm.  

If the steps are approved the new developer hopes to start construction in the fall. 

Jermont Terry

Jermont Terry

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Jermont Terry joined the TODAY'S TMJ4 team in January 2011. He currently leads the TMJ4 I-Team as the investigative reporter.