A vacant office building in Wauwatosa’s East Tosa neighborhood could be redeveloped into a mixed-use development or business incubator.
The city has issued a request for proposal for the two-story, 14,700-square-foot building, located at 6330 W. North Ave.
“Proposals including affordable housing, a business incubator, mixed-use development or such other use that furthers the goals or plans or studies adopted by the Wauwatosa Common Council are strongly encouraged,” according to the RFP, that is due to the city by August 9.
The Wauwatosa Community Development Authority owns the building.
Paulette Enders, development director for Wauwatosa, said a future development at the 0.25-acre site should follow the East Tosa North Avenue Plan, which includes managed parking, improving pedestrian access, being smaller in scale and building inter-business relationships and cooperation.
Last week, after several meetings and revisions, the city’s Common Council rejected a proposal by Klein Development to build a four-story, 54-unit apartment complex in the Village.
Despite already being downsized from five-stories and 72 apartments, council members felt the development was too dense and voted 9-7 against it.
Enders said she is not worried that vote will scare off developers from bidding on the North Avenue site or future development from happening on the property.
“Every site within the city is unique, with its own opportunities and challenges,” Enders said. “The (North Avenue) project should be in harmony with the community and it should align with the scale and aesthetics of the corridor.”
Nancy Welch, one of the aldermen who opposed the Klein Development apartments, said affordable housing in Wauwatosa is a good idea.
“We seem to have a glut of apartments that are market rate, but an increasing lack of affordable units,” Welch said. “Not everyone employed at the Medical College or at businesses in Wauwatosa earn enough money to afford $1,500 a month rents.”
Welch said another type of mixed-use development or business incubator could also be a good fit for a building that has been vacant for quite a while.
“It seems like there are a lot of good ideas, but as always, the devil is in the details,” Welch said.