The Buzz: Two reader construction questions and an update – Appleton Post Crescent


Maureen Wallenfang


Appleton Post-Crescent

Published 7:26 AM EDT Apr 24, 2019

Reader question: In Neenah, there is extensive remodeling taking place at the old Chase Bank building downtown. Workers are cutting in new windows throughout the second story exterior. Did someone buy the building and is there a new business moving in?

Answer: The building was sold, but Chase Bank remains as a tenant in the first floor at 111 E. Wisconsin Ave., which is the building behind the Statue of Liberty.

Umer Sheikh bought the building last summer – state records list the sale at $750,000 – and he’s currently renovating the second and third floors. Future tenants, he said, would likely be offices or studios.

“I thought to myself ‘would I rent it?’ The answer was no. It felt like a big dungeon. So we’re cutting in 36 windows that are seven feet tall,” he said. “It’s a beautiful view of downtown, Shattuck Park, the water and the clock tower. We’re hoping to redo the parking lot and heating and cooling. Hopefully by the end of the summer we should be ready for whoever.”

Reader question: Why is the DOT spending $10-$12 million dollars on a roundabout on State 76 and County G? I drive on 76 several times a week and I have never seen more than a couple vehicles waiting to cross 76. In my opinion this is a waste of money.

Answer: The DOT will spend $10-$12 million on the entire State 76 project, not just one roundabout. The price tag includes reconstruction of about four miles of road and three roundabouts. Preparation work has started for the 2020 project. It was referenced in a story about the relocation of the Bee Hive Inn in Vinland, which is the path of one of the roundabouts.

More: The Buzz: Bar fight ends between Bee Hive and the DOT

“The existing underlying concrete pavement was originally constructed in 1920 and is in poor condition. The most recent asphalt overlays were placed in 1991 and in 2009 to extend the pavement life. Standard maintenance cannot maintain an acceptable ride quality beyond the scheduled construction year (2020),” according to a DOT’s handout from a July 13, 2016 public meeting.

The project starts at Greenhill Court, just north of the I-41 interchange, and goes through the County JJ intersection. It includes single-lane roundabouts at County GG and County G, and a multilane roundabout at County JJ. The roadways will have extended paved shoulders to accommodate bicycles.

The DOT forecasts increased traffic volume. It said a significant percentage of crashes at the G and GG intersections was due to drivers “misinterpreting the gap when negotiating a turn.” It said there were 20 crashes at those two intersections from 2007 to 2011 and a fatal crash at G in 2014.

Update

Several weeks ago, I ran a story on Pavana Salon closing at 133 E. College Ave. in downtown Appleton. One of the salon partners, Sara Bartizal, wrote on the salon’s Facebook page that the building was being sold and the new owner “decided to change the direction of the building entirely.” She indicated the salon didn’t have enough time to relocate so it was simply closing.

More: The Buzz: Downtown’s Pavana Salon to close Friday

Since then, the real estate broker who handled the building’s sale disputed that account and said the salon was not forced out.

“If the tenant wanted to stay, she could have,” said Michael Van Abel. “She didn’t show any interest in staying. There was never a conversation about rate.”

The building is now available for lease.

Valier Investment completed its purchase of the building, and state records on April 8 show the purchase price was $405,000.

“It’s a beautiful space in the heart of all this exciting redevelopment taking place in downtown Appleton. I plan to convert the second story into a loft apartment and keep the first floor/basement a commercial suite,” said new owner Dan Klister.

Klister and his family are also behind the upcoming Gabriel Lofts development that will start construction next month one block east. See previous stories on that development here.

Contact Maureen Wallenfang at 920-993-7116 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @wallenfang.

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