Red Dot owners to redevelop site, withdraw request for variance

Tosa Unity Apartments to include 17 residential units, bar and restaurant concepts

Project rendering

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

Project rendering

After a devastating fire earlier this year forced East Tosa restaurant Red Dot to close its doors, owners Martin Beaudoin and Anthony Lampasona are moving forward on efforts to breathe new life into the property.

They have proposed a new three-story, mixed-use building, which would include residential units and retail spaces to be built on the site, and would require the demolition two structures– the Red Dot building, located at 6715 W. North Ave., and an adjacent laundromat, according to city documents.

The 40-foot-tall, 25,000-square-foot development, dubbed the Tosa Unity Apartments, will house 17 residential units on its top two levels, and bar and restaurant concepts on its ground floor. Each floor will be 8,000 square feet. It will also include 30 stalls of onsite parking.

Current site plans adhere to city zoning, but initial plans submitted to the Board of Zoning Appeals did not. With intentions of building a 21-unit structure, the owners recently requested a variance that would reduce the minimum lot area required per residential unit, allowing more units to fit inside the building.

“We couldn’t meet criteria for the variance… we knew it was a long shot,” Lampasona said.

The owners withdrew the variance request and are now revising the site plans to meet the city’s standards, which requires all units to be a minimum of 1,000 square feet.

Taking four units out of the original plans for the building will also make way for a rooftop garden overlooking North Avenue, Lampasona said.

Once approved, the project will break ground in April or May 2019 with completion set for spring of the following year, he said

The proposal has been met with both support and criticism on a city and community level– not to mention social media chatter– but, Lampasona said, he hopes to create something that “meets the vision of the community” while upholding the concerns of all stakeholders involved.

Beaudoin and Lampasona plan to operate the bar that will open on the ground floor, but are seeking a third party tenant for the restaurant concept, Lampasona said.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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