‘Three universes’

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

    When proposed commercial and residential development plans take action and are completed in Lake Geneva over the next 10 years, the quaint town on Geneva Lake may become one of the fastest-growing areas in southeastern Wisconsin.
    "We have three universes in Lake Geneva. We have the people who live and work here, the people who own second homes here and the people who live here and work in metropolitan areas," said George Hennerley, executive vice president of the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce. "We have a function of communities that are logically growing, and we are in good shape as far as housing stock and the ability to sell."
    Lake Geneva’s logical growth pattern is to the south and to the east, Hennerley said.
    A $50 million, 35-acre development proposed by Investors Equity LLC of Milwaukee will include residential development and commercial development, including office and retail space.
    Although the project was announced in 2004, Hennerley said Steven Stewart, chief executive officer of Investors Equity, is still working through due diligence processes and does not expect to break ground for another year.
    On Jan. 24, the Lake Geneva Plan Commission approved the annexation of property owned by Hummel Group of Palatine, Ill. The 718-acre property located south of downtown Lake Geneva will include a golf course, a residential community and retail.
    "The economy needs to grow," Hennerley said. "People have the tendency to live where there are a lot of shopping opportunities. Lake Geneva will be appealing to more people if it is a place where people can shop. We are trying to have a blend of shopping opportunities and are trying not to kill off the downtown in the process."
    A residential development is under construction on the site of the former Uncle John’s Fun Park at Highway 12 and Town Line Road, with units already leased and sold, Hennerley said.
    "With these developments we will increase our tax base significantly," Hennerley said. "The housing stock that will be on the 718-acre property is currently not available in this city. People want to be residents of this city."
    The Lake Geneva Business Park is down to six acres of available land, Hennerley said, and will soon be looking for more opportunities for corporate development.
    "I think it is important for people to have choices, and we look forward to having the developments finished because we know that there will always be more," Hennerley said. "This not a project. This is a process."
    February 4, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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    Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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