A message from Scott Shulick, UUCW Board of Trustees President
Many of you have been asking, and rightfully so, “What’s going on with the East property?” Packed into that question are several others, so I thought I’d spend some time bringing everyone up to speed on what’s been going on as there are many internal and external initiatives that impact our property.
North Avenue Expansion
For several years, we have known that Waukesha County and the Department of Transportation has plans to widen North Avenue. To accomplish that project, Waukesha County is exercising their right to eminent domain to obtain additional property on both the North and South sides of North Avenue. That includes our property.
Over the last several months, we’ve been working with the county, appraisers and legal counsel to come to a final agreement regarding the compensation for the land that is being taken. That agreement happened in November. Waukesha county will be taking 0.358 acres from our East property and 0.168 acres from our West property. The county is compensating UUCW a total of $136,700 for the two parcels. As a part of the negotiation, we will be working with the county to create two new entrances into our parking lots, along with turn lanes on North Ave. We are finalizing paperwork with both the county and BMO Harris, who holds our mortgage.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020 and is planned to move from West to East, with the portion in front of UUCW near the tail end of the project. While it will be disruptive at times, North Avenue will remain open to traffic during construction except for a few weeks when the railroad crossings near North Avenue and Pilgrim Road intersections are replaced.
Selling the East Property
In September of 2019, at the request of a board-appointed task force, a special congregational meeting was held. At that meeting, UUCW congregants deliberated on the pros and cons of retaining vs. selling the East property. In the end, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to actively seek a buyer for the property.
Currently, the East property is zoned for residential use and development. Through our work with the architect and general contractor for Build 2020, we were introduced to a potential buyer as well as had some interactions with the city of Brookfield regarding what could be done on the property.
We are currently setting up meetings with industry experts who specialize in these types of real estate dealings to map out the marketing and sales negotiation process for the property. As of the drafting of this article, we have not officially “listed” the property nor engaged a broker. We do, however, remain open to the possibility of doing both should they be in the best interest of UUCW.
The East property is a unique parcel of land, both in terms of what the city of Brookfield will allow to be done with it and its shape after Waukesha County takes its eminent domain acreage, leaving it less flexible in terms of development. We do not expect this to be a quick process, nor do we need it to be, though one never knows what the future may bring. We will not be taking a cavalier attitude towards its sale. It is a treasured church asset, and we will treat the sale of it thoughtfully, seeking to bring forth the best possible offer we can for the congregation’s consideration.
Thank you and please reach out with any questions you may have here.
Happy New Year!