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ISB Bank takes over Bob Lang property at Highway C and I-94

ISB Community Bank to meet with city officials

Oct. 31, 2012

City of Delafield - Representatives of ISB Community Bank have told city officials that they have some ideas about how to develop nearly 50 acres on the southeast corner of Highway C and I-94 that the bank has acquired from developer Bob Lang.

The bank officials have requested to appear at a City Hall planning staff meeting scheduled for Nov. 14.

The staff meetings are usually attended by the mayor, city administrator, city planner, other selected city staff and occasionally a member of the Common Council.

The purpose of the meeting is review land use, zoning or development proposals or requests that might be submitted to the Plan Commission by the planning staff.

The meetings are not subject to the state's open meetings law because usually there is not a quorum of a governing body in attendance.

"The bank is the owner of the former Bob Lang properties on Highway C. I would like to attend one of these sessions on behalf of the bank to discuss the property and to discuss some ideas we have for the property," according to an email sent to City Clerk Gina Gresch by Brad W. Wessely, special assets manager for ISB Community Bank of Ixonia.

Dan Westrope, president and chief executive officer of the bank, said the primary purpose of the meeting was for the bank to learn how the property was zoned, how it can potentially be developed, and what city officials and community leaders envision as an appropriate use of the land.

Westrope acknowledge the bank now owns the property but would not describe how it acquired the land, "out of respect for Mr. Lang's privacy."

The land formerly owned by Lang is 11 parcels totaling about 49 acres, according to City Planner Roger Dupler.

About 30 acres of the land is zoned B-5, which means it can be used for office, research or commercial purposes other than retail.

In order to use the land for light industrial or other commercial purposes, the land owner would have seek a change in the city's land-use map and plan as well as a zoning change, Dupler added.

The property is not served by municipal sewer and water. The nearest water treatment facility is Delafield-Hartland Water Pollution Control Commission treatment plant north of the expressway, opposite the property.

The remaining approximately 18 acres is zoned for agricultural purpose although it could be converted to 2-acre residential use without zoning or land-use plan changes, according to Dupler.

There were at least two attempts by Lang to develop the property. In 2006, he and an Indiana-based development company, Lauth Property Group, proposed a $200 million, 60-acre mixed commercial, retail and residential use "lifestyle center." But the proposal generated stiff opposition from neighboring property owners and other city residents and was withdrawn before any votes were taken at City Hall.

Two years later, Lang and business partner Joseph Zilber, a Milwaukee investor, proposed a 25-acre business park on the site that would have included a 120,000-square-foot headquarters for the Brookfield-based RedPrairie Corp., a producer of computer software.

Although the proposal was embraced by some city officials, it was withdrawn after RedPrairie decided not to move its headquarters.

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