Now that the city has retained ownership of the historic Blair House after a lengthy legal fight, it can now turn its attention to selling the site so the new owners can turn the property into a bed-and-breakfast inn.
That plan is now taking shape.
The first step is to declare the 0.899-acre site surplus property since the city no longer has a use for it. The plan commission will vote on this matter during its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at city hall.
The commission will also review requests by the community development department to amend the land use plan for the property at 434 Madison St. from institutional to medium-high density residential and rezone the site to multi-family residential.
The changes are needed in order for the site to be turned into a bed-and-breakfast.
The city has owned the Blair House, a site on the historic registry lists, since its previous owner, Henry Blair, a one-time mayor of the city, turned it over to the city upon his death in 1957.
The property was used by the city for several years, and it was also leased to various nonprofit entities.
But after the lease for ProHealth Care, the most recent tenant, expired in 2013, the city no longer had a use for the Italianate-style home.
In 2014, in an effort to sell the property, the city sought out proposals for the site. With only one proposal, a sale with a local couple who intended on turning the home into a bed-and-breakfast inn appeared promising.
However, the sale was put on hold after the Waukesha Masonic Lodge 37 filed a lawsuit claiming the city had violated the terms of the original deed of the property to the city.
The Masons were looking to have the property turned over to their organization since they were next in line in Blair's will. After a 17-month legal battle, a judge ruled in the city's favor last month, keeping ownership rights with the city.
Bob and Lisa Salb, who will soon take over ownership of the house, plan to remodel the 4,353-square-foot house and name it Spring City Bed & Breakfast.
The Salbs have an extensive background in architectural design and home preservation.