Sister Bay unveils draft downtown redevelopment plan

Tuesday night meeting, survey solicit feedback from community

Apr. 16, 2013
Vandewalle and Associates prepared this visual representation of the draft redevelopment plan for downtown Sister Bay.
Vandewalle and Associates prepared this visual representation of the draft redevelopment plan for downtown Sister Bay. / Submitted
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Sister Bay officials are hoping for a strong turnout tonight for an informational meeting spotlighting the draft of a redevelopment plan for several specific parcels and the downtown in general.

The committee has been working for about a year to develop specific concepts, promotional materials and information to market the downtown and targeted parcels and attract developments that will complement the existing business and public amenities, Village Administrator Bob Kufrin said.

The public is invited to attend at 6 p.m. at the Fire Station, 2258 Mill Road, Sister Bay to hear the first presentation of the draft plan. The committee and its consultants, Vandewalle and Associates, will solicit feedback on the concepts being presented.

In order to reach everyone the consultant has prepared an electronic survey to gather even more opinions. A draft of the plan summary is below.

People who canít attend are also encourage to send comments to Kufrin at, (920) 854-4118, or 2383†Maple Drive, P.O. Box 769, Sister Bay, WI 54234.


Village of Sister Bay - Downtown Redevelopment Planning Draft Downtown Redevelopment Concept Plan Summary Repositioning Downtown Sister Bay to advance Downtown Reinvestment and build off of the successful Waterfront Park

Building off of the community's investment and successful revitalization of the Waterfront Park land acquisition and public space development, the Downtown Redevelopment Plan will guide Sister Bay through the next stage in planning and implementation - to capitalize on the existing assets of Downtown Sister Bay and increase the opportunity for Downtown retail, recreation, tourism and living. Strategic focus on the following opportunities can assist in a strengthened Downtown business district and solidify Sister Bay as Northern Door County's full-service year-round residential community and premier visitor destination.

The following draft recommendations have been prepared for discussion at the April 16 community meeting and complement the attached Draft Downtown Redevelopment Concept Plan. ln the due diligence phase of this project a Downtown site inventory and analysis was conducted, Economic Development Committee meetings were held, and stakeholder interviews were conducted with key property owners, business owners, developers, and experts in real estate development and the Door County market. A record of site analysis can be reviewed in the Downtown Site lnventory Map which highlights the area parcels, the Downtown Tax Increment District, topography, wetlands, and sewer and water main lines. ln addition, the Site Inventory highlights some of the Downtown businesses and locations where the Sister Bay Islands are most visible.

Downtown Market Opportunities and Redevelopment Focus

Market Alley Area - The Market Alley is proposed as a public roadway which would allow for increased retail density Downtown to provide additional resident and visitor attractions to complement the existing Waterfront Park and Downtown dining assets. Infill retail development will focus on arts and crafts business uses in individual new retail buildings, centered along a pedestrian-oriented Market Alley with parking interior within the Alley and on individual retail sites.

The Alley would allow for an alternative connection between Bay Shore Drive, Spring Road, and Sunset Drive to relieve congestion during the busiest times of the year. The Alley would have a slow travel speed to ensure a safe street for pedestrians and bicyclists, and would be wide enough for fire/emergency vehicle access. The Concept Plan suggests building the commercial alley in phases as the sites redevelopment along the Alleyway.

Waterfront Park Recreation Area - The expansive Waterfront Park and adjacent Mill Road redevelopment area provides an opportunity for targeted recreation and waterfront oriented business and lodging development. With a focus on silent sport equipment rentals, tours, and classes, a recreation-oriented cafe, and eco-sports lodge, the Waterfront Park Recreation Area will be a destination for seasonal sports enthusiasts and offer an opportunity to attract a younger market to Sister Bay.

School House Overlook - The historic school house on the top of the hill as you enter Downtown Sister Bay from the south provides an iconic gateway that, once restored, will provide a destination for a retail/visitor oriented commercial use in the building, complemented by the grand staircase with overlooks that will connect the top of the hill to the rest of Downtown Sister Bay.

Redevelopment Sites

The Sister Bay Downtown Redevelopment Concept Plan provides recommendations both on development and redevelopment opportunities, public connections, wayfinding, and infrastructure which would enhance those opportunities in Downtown Sister Bay. Following is a description of the Concept Plan Recommendations.

A. Village Center Mixed Use Site - Upscale Modern Hotel, Condominium, Retail. This redevelopment site, owned privately by one owner, is approximately 1.9 acres, and when redeveloped should contain a 3-4 story landmark building of high-quality architecture. The new development could include retail on the first floor and a combination of hotel, spa, wellness center, and condominium residential on the upper floors. Parking would be internal on the site, built into the back of the building accessible by Mill Road and potentially from Maple Drive (behind the bowling alley). As conceptualized, this project would be developed as a year-round destination. The market draw for this project area skews to the destination traveler and baby boomer generation, with more concern for high-end amenities, availability of high-quality views, and proximity to a vibrant Downtown and the water.

B. Mill Road Recreation/Waterfront Oriented Mixed Use Site - Across from Waterfront Park and Sister Bay, and close to Bay Shore Drive and the potential Sister Bay Nature Preserve, this 0.7 acre Village-owned site is strategically located for recreation-oriented purposes. Uses could include recreation/silent sport equipment rental (kayak, canoe, paddleboard, bicycles), service, and tours, as well as meetings and class space, recreation oriented cafe and lodging (10-15 rooms). The market draw for this project area skews younger, with physical/recreation-based active lifestyle, with more concern for the recreation aspects than high-end amenities.

C. Sunset View Mixed Use Site - Across from Sister Bay Marina with Bay Shore Drive frontage, the 1.7 acre site (which includes portions of three privately-owned parcels) is a highly desirable location oriented to Sister Bay. With strong visibility, a development on this site could contain 3-4 stories of a mix of uses including a 40-60 room hotel with marina oriented design/architecture, and draw, a "sunset view" bar/lounge, and ground floor restaurant, retail or hospitality related services (spa, massage, etc.). The market draw for this project area skews to marina users, boat owners, and the general demographic already present at the Sister Bay Marina.

D. School House Overlook Mixed Use Site - With approximately 3 acres of developable land, the Village-owned School House Park and historic school house, and part of the adjacent privately-owned property, is a desirable overlook location with views to Sister Bay, Sister lslands, and Downtown Sister Bay. The original 1909 school house building could be adapted for reuse (with the later addition demolished) and added on to as needed for a future business use. Reuse of the school house could be for a dynamic seasonal or year-round destination (arts/crafts, wine/beer craft). The remainder of the site could be developed for market rate residential apartments for year-round residents, conceptually proposed as two-story town house style construction. The area of the site with Highway 57 frontage could include individual commercial building development in 2-story buildings to complement adjacent retail uses. The ground floor could be used for retail or other commercial use and the upper level for residential. The mix of uses of the conceptually proposed buildings could be arts/craft related. The remaining, undevelopable hill area on the site would be used as an overlook with a grand staircase public connection to the waterfront and Downtown Sister Bay.

E. Corner of Sunset & Bay Shore Drive Site - Currently on the market, this roughly 0.7-acre site offers desirable water views, park and marina proximity and is situated to book-end the proposed Market Alley and Downtown business core. Privately driven redevelopment of this site could consider 3-4 story construction with a mix of uses to further complement the Downtown business district.

F. Village Maintenance Services Site - Adjacent to the Sister Bay Library, across the street from the potential Sister Bay Nature Preserve, and within walking distance to the proposed Market Alley and Braun redevelopment site, the Village maintenance facilities are not the highest and best use for this site. At approximately 1.3 acres, this site should be considered for long-term reuse as another community amenity, with relocation of the maintenance services to a lower profile location.

Public Connections and Infrastructure

- District Gateways: Suggested for the intersections of Bay Shore Drive at Mill Road and Bay Shore Drive at Sunset Drive. These gateways would provide a sense of place and arrival for the District, and would provide wayfinding signage to area attractions.

- Complete Streets: As part of the 2013 Bay Shore Drive construction project, the Concept Plan envisions the Drive as a complete street, with increased bike and pedestrian facilities along the Drive.

- Improved Vehicular Connections: The Concept Plan suggests utilizing the existing connections to Spring Road, by building off of the existing access points to Spring Road, as future connections for the Market Alley.

- Pedestrian Connections: Pathways with sidewalk access which connect pedestrians to public and private uses, parking lots, and the shopping district. ln addition, the Concept plan recommends pedestrian and visual improvements to clearly connect Bay Shore Drive with the existing public parking lot on Mill Road and Sunset Drive.

- Public Parking Lots: The Concept Plan includes a suggested additional 15-20 stalls of public parking at the proposed Sister Bay Nature Preserve Trailhead. Parking will be incorporated into individual redevelopment sites and within the Market Alley.

- Outdoor Rooms as lntegrated Green Space: Outdoor Rooms are proposed within the Market Alley redevelopment area. These rooms would integrate and utilize the existing pond features/wetland areas to provide spaces within the redevelopment area for visitors to gather, rest, enjoy the ambiance of the area.

Prepared by Vandewalle & Associates for the Village of Sister Bay EDC

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