Liquor license reserved for Fowler Lake Village development
City of Oconomowoc - Common Council reserved the last available Class B liquor license in the city for a future restaurant in the proposed Fowler Lake Village. The move means any other businesses interested in applying for a full liquor license will have to wait until another one becomes available. However, City Clerk Diane Coenen explained that merchants can still apply for a Class C license which allows for the sale of wine only.
Officials did indicate there are licenses issue that are not being used and they will take a look at those in June which is the annual time for liquor license renewal.
Coenen said reserving the license was important to help a future restaurant in the development thrive and the project itself move forward. During the Protection and Welfare Committee meeting that preceded Council where the item was discussed and recommended, Mayor Jim Daley said it is important to keep moving forward with the plans the city committed to through a Memorandum of Understanding with Fowler Lake Village developer Jeff Seymour.
Daley said that the city was meeting with a high-end restaurant group for this development on Thursday.
In July, the city entered into an agreement with Fowler Lake Village developer Jeff Seymour. Plans were announced to move the development off its original site at St. Paul and Pleasant streets to an area behind City Hall that is currently a municipal parking lot.
The move has been criticized by the public, but Mayor Jim Daley has countered saying the location closer to Fowler Lake opens up more opportunities for redevelopment of the lakefront. The city around the same time announced plans to expand the nearby Village Green in conjunction with plans to revitalize the Fowler Lake area.
In the midst would be Fowler Lake Village, a mixed-use, four-story development will house a restaurant, five livework buildings and 38 residential units ranging in price and square footage. The project is estimated to add $16 million value to the city tax roll.
The agreement between the city and Seymour lays out specific requirements including 70 percent of the condo units must be sold prior to construction. Another component was that if 120 day after the adoption of agreement officials conclude the developer is not making sufficient progress, further discussion could be terminated. It also indicates the city will work with Seymour to secure things necessary to attract tenants like a liquor license.
Director of Economic Development Bob Duffy said the city has been regularly meeting with Seymour on the project, but a timeline for the project still has not been set.
Common Council went into closed session Tuesday night regarding 219 W. Wisconsin Ave., the parcel officials voted Jan. 15 to use eminent domain to secure for community center parking.
Mayor Jim Daley said the closed meeting was just to discuss legal information related to proceeding with eminent domain. He said there has been no discussion between the city and the owners of the property - John Haas and Ken Herro - since they failed to reach a binding arbitration agreement on payment for the parcel.
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