New development comes to the riverfront

Assisted living center under construction on Capitol Dr. property

(Ben Davis) The construction on Capitol Drive will become an assisted living center as well as a building of apartments. Most believe the future buildings will benefit Shorewood.
(Ben Davis) The construction on Capitol Drive will become an assisted living center as well as a building of apartments. Most believe the future buildings will benefit Shorewood.

A new assisted living center is currently under construction on Capitol Dr. Once completed, the facility will include a four-story building with 60 assisted living units and an additional one-story building with 36 apartments geared towards senior living.

Village officials are optimistic about the new development.

“It’s the demographics that are feeding the demand for an assisted living center and we are very excited that we finally have one,” said Ericka Lang, village planning director.

The assisted living facility was developed by Florida-based company, Harbor Retirement Associates (HRA). The developer chose the Capitol Dr. site from a list provided by the Village Board, and has received $1.7 million from them to complete the facility.

“[HRA] is the topnotch national assisted living provider in the nation,” Land said. “They are known for their amenities, their care and everything from the physical to social aspects.”

Tom Kuhlmann, resident and member of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee, said that he is pleased about the new development.

“It should be a real benefit for Shorewood,” Kuhlmann said, “not just from a tax base, but … it gives people in Shorewood who maybe, after all their kids have left the house, [and have] too big of a home, [but] want to stay in Shorewood, that gives them a place to go, which frees up more housing for young families to come in.”

Kuhlmann said that additionally, from a pedestrian and bicycle standpoint, he is pleased about a new access point from the Oak Leaf Trail that will lead into the facility. Also, Kuhlmann said, his committee is working with the Village Board to add an actuated pedestrian crossing sign for walkers to cross Capitol Dr. and reach the facility.

Some residents, however, are not pleased about the new development.

“I think [the project] shows a lack of vision by the village and by UWM,” said Alexander Pendleton, president of the Greater Shorewood Bikers, member of the Wisconsin Technology Council and resident.

“That river site is a perfect site for a research park similar to what has been wildly successful in Madison.” Pendleton said.

Pendleton expressed concerns that Milwaukee was falling behind in academic research, and said that the river site could be used for something more than an assisted living center.

“We’re missing out on the economic development that a research university with an international reputation can provide,” Pendleton said. “The correct location for an assisted living facility is in downtown Shorewood, close to the library [and] close to shops.”

Pendleton said that the assisted living center wastes precious riverfront space because the elderly will not be able to utilize all the benefits that the river has to offer.

“[The riverfront] is an isolated location for elderly people. It may give them some nice views, but they … aren’t going to be physically able to take advantage of the many features that that specific location gives,” Pendleton said. “I think it’s great that there’s an assisted living facility being built in Shorewood, but it’s being built in the wrong location, and Shorewood has missed a historic opportunity.”

by Dylan Larson-Harsch and Maya Lawnicki

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