A proposed retail center and restaurant at the site of the well-known Gasthaus restaurant, 2720 N. Grandview Blvd., will be considered this week by a Waukesha panel, but the concept has not received a favorable review thus far from city staff.
According to planning documents, California-based Panda Restaurant Group is proposing construction of a strip mall at the corner of Silvernail Road and Grandview Boulevard — where Gasthaus currently sits — and a Panda Express restaurant across from the plaza. It is not clear whether the Gasthaus restaurant, which functions as a kind of gateway into the city, would be razed if the project earns approval.
The city's plan commission was expected to review and take action on the proposal Wednesday, April 27, after press deadline. City staff, in multiple reports, have outlined problems with the proposal, predominantly citing traffic concerns, and recommended denial of the current plans for the project.
Development and concerns
The proposal calls for the construction of a 9,800-square-foot strip mall featuring three unidentified retail spaces, a coffee shop with a drive-thru and two restaurants on the Gasthaus site. The 2,600-square-foot Panda Express restaurant would be a standalone building, separated from the mall by a parking lot.
In a report to plan commissioners, City Planner Maria Pandazi recommended denial of the proposed designs, saying staff had 'strong concerns' about the 'land-use intensity' of the proposal.
'Staff believes that the land-use intensity, including multiple drive-thrus, and the large multi-tenant building will be too intensive for this site, and could negatively impact the surrounding properties,' Pandazi wrote.
A report from the city's public works department cites similar concerns. It said, 'These land uses are very traffic intensive for the size of the development area and, in the peak traffic hours, will cause more trips to be generated onto Silvernail Road and will further increase traffic congestion and vehicular crashes in the roadway corridor from North Grandview Boulevard to the full access driveway near the northwest side of the development.
'The increase in traffic congestion on Silvernail Road, caused by this development, will negatively impact the businesses on the north side of Silvernail Road.'
Waukesha County tax records list Jack Weissgerber as the restaurant's property owner. The estimated fair market value of the land is $839,100.
The Gasthaus is one of the Weissgerber family's numerous restaurants in the greater Milwaukee area. The other restaurants the family owns include the Golden Mast Inn on Okauchee Lake and Seven Seas in Hartland.
The plan commission meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at city hall, 201 Delafield St. The commission will review the project's site and architectural plans as well as a conditional use permit for the development.