Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm
Plans for a small strip mall and a Panda Express restaurant building at the site of the Weissgerber’s Gasthaus in Waukesha were dealt a setback Wednesday, but the Plan Commission did not follow a staff recommendation to deny the proposal.
The proposal calls for a 9,800-square-foot multi-tenant retail and restaurant building at 2720 N. Grandview Blvd. with three small restaurant spaces and three small retails spaces. It also includes a stand-alone Panda Express building.
The Plan Commission voted to have developer CFT Developments LLC address a number of concerns with traffic, right-of-way, parking and the architecture of the building.
City staff had recommended the denial of the proposal citing concerns with the intensity of land use on the site.
Jeff Fortin, Waukesha community development specialist, said some commissioners felt the number of restaurants at the site should be reduced.
“I think in general they’re comfortable with the concept,” he said.
The issues the commission and city would like to see addressed include a left-turn lane on Silvernail Road, additional explanations or modifications to parking and better design elements, particularly at the corner of Silvernail and Grandview Boulevard.
“We really want that corner to stand out,” Fortin said, describing it as part of a gateway to the city. “We wanted to see a building that pays even more respect to the corner.”
Fortin also said Mayor Shawn Reilly made a point to address social media discussions that suggested the city was forcing the Weissgerbers to sell the property, noting that the city had no control over transactions between the developer and current owner.
The Weissgerber family has operated the Gasthaus at the site since 1983.
Hans Weissgerber Jr., owner of the Gasthaus Restaurant, said earlier this week that owning and managing the property has been extremely difficult since his brother, Jack, who was his business partner, died in 2013.
“Unfortunately, while my family and I would prefer to continue operating the Gasthaus, either ‘as-is,’ or as a new concept, failure to reach a settlement with Jack’s estate left us no choice but to consider a sale of the property,” Hans Weissgerber said in a statement.