I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
Updated again at 2:26pm with info from Scott J. Yauck of Cobalt
COBALT CLARIFICATIONSRecently, there has been much discussion about the Cobalt Partners’ site along I-794 at Layton & Pennsylvania Avenues. Cobalt would like to clarify some of the points raised in those discussions and the history of its efforts at this site.
- Cobalt Partners (“Cobalt”) requested on April 22, 2008 that the City of Cudahy consider its Application for Conditional Use for the prominent, 29-acre property (the “Property”) and its placement on an upcoming Plan Commission agenda.
- In early 2006, Cobalt Partners was selected to develop the Property as the result of a Request for Proposal process. The City of Milwaukee – in consultation with the City of Cudahy – had selected Cobalt’s proposal for a large-format, retail-anchored development that would capitalize on the Property’s high visibility and regional access via I-794, Layton Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue.
- Since then, Cobalt has worked with the City and the Cudahy Community Development Authority (the “CDA”) and, as a result, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) that governs the respective rights and obligations of the City, the CDA, and Cobalt relative to the marketing and development of the Property.
- Various attributes of the Property, including four-sided visibility and tremendous access to I-794, make it highly desirable for retail uses and consistent with master land use planning objectives. Because of its proximity to Mitchell International Airport, FAA height restrictions further support retail as the highest and best use of the Property because such development is typically single story.
- Cobalt has had discussions with various interested users for the development. Wal-Mart did, in fact, consider the Property for a new Supercenter over 18 months ago.
- At that time, the economics and status of the Property as a former landfill presented challenges for most prospective users. As a result, Cobalt worked with the City, its CDA, and various experts to eliminate these challenges, as described in the Memorandum of Understanding.
- In addition to being economically viable, Cobalt’s current development plan literally moves and consolidates the underlying trash so that the development would now be built on engineered fill, creating a "greenfield" site.
- Cobalt respects the currently pending application of Wal-Mart for the Iceport site. However, that process and the agreement among the City, the latest developer, and the owners of the Iceport site has been extended beyond its original January deadline. Cobalt also has a timeline in the MOU and its submittal of the development plan is simply the next step in a process outlined in the MOU.
- Development of the Property would significantly benefit the City – both economically and from a land use planning perspective. As a former City of Milwaukee landfill, the Property comprises multiple parcels that are currently tax exempt, yet represent, in the aggregate, 1/100th of Cudahy’s total area. Retail development of the site could represent a significant increment in tax base, likely in excess of $1 million per acre, and be a catalyst for further development within Cudahy.
- The vision and innovation of the City and the CDA in executing the Memorandum of Understanding has positioned this Property to be readily developed as a productive asset for the City.
- Cobalt’s Application was submitted with the desire to work collaboratively with the City and the CDA to refine the concept as appropriate to optimize the success of the project for the long term benefit of Cudahy and its citizens.
cobaltpartners, LLC 414.271.5000 (O)414.271.5001 (F)414.406-6558 (C)
Important update – On Monday May 5, 2008 at 7:04AM
Here is the response I received from Lisa Nelson Wal-Mart Public Affairs on, if the CobaltPartners statement of “If Continental Properties' proposal for a Wal-Mart is not approved by city officials on Monday, a Wal-Mart could potentially be constructed on Cobalt Partners' site at Layton and Pennsylvania avenues.” is true.
Randy - we're not interested in the Cobalt site. Confirmed this yet again...
Here is an email from a reader who would like to share their thoughts on Wal-Mart and the city with you.
There are some things about Wal-Mart that you probably didn't know about and I
think you should share with your bloggers.
Wal-Mart has helped Cudahy and others in the South shore more than you think.
Two products from Cudahy are carried by Wal-Mart that includes the Patrick Cudahy meats in the Supercenters plus some paper that is made in Cudahy.
It's (removed, by request), again, I decided to write to Alderwoman Schissel about the Wal-Mart plan because apparently she was another alderperson who is against it. So, once again I decided to write another letter.
Dear Ms. Schissel,
My name is (removed, by request), and I’ve been a Cudahy citizen for 17 years living in the district you represent. I’m writing to discuss something that has been on my mind and the citizens of Cudahy’s as well and that is the Wal-Mart plan that‘s coming to Cudahy. I’ve heard that you are not a supporter for the Wal-Mart plan but I would like to tell on how this would be a great thing for Cudahy. This is probably the one and only time we will get something like this as a gift to Cudahy, this will help us in the long run, it will bring jobs and people that this town so desperately needs.
Wal-Mart has helped Cudahy and the other South Shore cities in the past and they are willing to help us clean up the Iceport debacle so we don’t get stuck with it. I told this to Mayor McCue before; you need business and not tourism.
Business is what Cudahy desperately needs and they will bring it to us, Wal-Mart is not that evil big box company that people make it out to be, they have the guts to at least come to Cudahy and say “will help you, will fix it.”
Ms. Schissel, I believe that Cudahy is at a turning point, it is on that edge to where it could tip in the favor of Wal-Mart and bring back the business and the spark back that Cudahy once had. Or it could tip into saying no to the Wal-Mart and the land will remain vacant and empty, nothing will be put there, it will be empty for years and the remaining businesses will leave, the people will leave and Cudahy will be deserted.
I know from what people have said that you are against this, but you have to put this into consideration, nothing else has worked, the more we stall the more Cudahy will dig itself into a debt that we will never get out of. This could be the last chance that Cudahy has, and I ask as a representative of your district that you support the Wal-Mart plan.
A Cudahy Citizen,
(Removed, by request),
I sent it out, and I got a message on the machine a week later from her saying that she is not against it, however she is going to vote the way that the districts wants. I live in District 2 of Cudahy and she told me that I'm am the 5th person to say yes to the Wal-Mart and everybody else in the district doesn't want it. I find it hard to believe that only 5 people want it when city wide 1,150 people want it.
Like I have stated to you before, my mother is a Wal-Mart manager and there is a display there where people from Cudahy can sign up to have the Wal-Mart built. And my mother has stated that more and more people are signing it.
Something else I found out, Schissel actually has a job [Industries of the Blind] that is boxing and shipping pencils and those pencils go to the Wal-Mart stores. Imagine the lies people will do to better themselves.
I hope you read the articles that I sent you about McCue's former job, especially the ones about the taxes going up. That person was right, my mother has a good friend in Cudahy who is 65, works as a secretary, single, taking care of her 91-year-old mother, her taxes went up a lot and she barely and I mean barely got them paid off.
I don't know what McCue wants in Cudahy, he needs to realize that he's is making a huge mistake not bringing this in. I guarantee you this Randy, if McCue denies the Wal-Mart, I know this, heads are going to roll.
One more question, what are these meetings on the 5th and the 13th about, are they both public meetings or closed meetings?
One more thing I forgot to add, share my email with your bloggers and everyone else, this town needs to realize what is going on, as Hamlet stated in Act I "SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK" Well, something is rotten in the city of Cudahy and all arrows point to McCue.
I don’t know if many of you go back to the older posts to check for comments. Since I post everyday, some good comments can be buried quickly. Since this subject matter is time sensitive I thought I should include it with another post in the same subject.
Randy, I see the Cobalt people are making a statement that if Monday’s meeting is shot down, there may be hope for Wal-Mart “If Continental Properties' proposal for a Wal-Mart is not approved by city officials on Monday, a Wal-Mart could potentially be constructed on Cobalt Partners' site at Layton and Pennsylvania avenues.”
I just wonder if Cobalt is just saying this so that proposal is shotdown on purpose?
Randy you posted a letter from the Wal-Mart person saying Layton and Pennsylvania are not an option just a day before this story breaks.
Do you think it is real? Maybe someone from the city asked Cobalt to say it so people back away from the Ice port.
With Cobalt saying this doesn’t it make a conflict for in good faith?
Yes I would like a bigger store, but is this real?
Randy how is office space a destination? Is that not what McCue said he would like to see on the Ice Port instead of Wal-Mart and the wave at the last meeting? Does that fit with the master plan he raves about? No. What a hypocrite he is! It fits that master plan when he wants it to and not when he doesn’t.
Randy with McCue not a fan of Wal-Mart and the others in the city showing their hand on Wal-Mart what do you think the chances of Cobalt getting Wal-Mart in? McCue will make his claim that downtown includes the Cobalt land, thus the master plan covers it so no Wal-Mart. That guy from the place helping on the master plan he doesn’t like Wal-Mart. That is forsure. I think those who don’t want Wal-Mart and Cudahy Station to go forward make the statements to kill that project. In the process kill Wal-Mart. You pointed out before that McCue was against Wal-Mart on the Cobalt site before and noting has changed.
I just don’t like how this is all going down. Again how in good faith is this Cobalt thing? A lawsuit is coming. More money the city will have to waste. I know Joe is all about the money and with a lawsuit wasting more of our money how does it help the cause. Joe wants it to go forward with Cobalt, was he involved with them before? Is it not a part of sour grapes with the Iceport people and he worked with Cobalt? Who in the city tells the truth? Cudahy sounds like a mob city.
Randy one other thing. You have to question the timing of all of this with Cobalt. As the Wal-Mart people said the size is what is right for Cudahy so would the size not be the same on the Cobalt development? It is based on what the cities needs are not by the location. We all assume it will get bigger, but we don’t know that is the case. Many people feel that is one reason to kill the Iceport one. But we don’t know it will be bigger. Again that questions Joes push for Cobalt if it may not be bigger.
Larry, I don’t see Joe as having a connection with Cobalt. He is looking out for the amount of taxes we the citizens must endure. He may have been in office when they were looking at developing the land, but I think that is it.
You are right about the timing; yes, it strikes me as odd. I think you hit on the same thing I said before; there is no guarantee the store on Penn and Layton will be any bigger or will happen.
I wonder if the meeting on Monday May 12 with cobalt, is a result of a closed door meeting somewhere sometime. Is it to backdoor Wal-Mart to the cobalt site or to force a NO vote on the Iceport?
Look at it this way, you have those not in favor voting NO, then the YES people are divided with wanting the Wal-Mart as it is and those who want a Wal-Mart just a bigger one (a promise that may not come true) on the Penn and Layton site who would vote NO for it on the Iceport. This could move some of the YES people over to the NO vote (but still supporting Wal-Mart) to end the Iceport with Cudahy Station.
I wonder if someone has loose lips, and has let some of this word out.
I would not even be surprised if more people attend the Monday Plan Commission meeting (May 5th) and help to try and SHOOT DOWN the site plan.
They are going to use the argument that retail development on that site, will ruin Cudahy's downtown. (Especially, if it brings a Wal-Mart). That is why you are hearing the extreme rumbling out there on the street.
There is a reason why the Commission doesn’t want to vote just on the land usage like it was originally to do. They lumped in the site plan (which had to be rushed) to help force the end to Cudahy Station. This is all the plan. You are right about the lawsuits that will be coming.I am sure that McCue will be happy if these plans get shot down, (because he knows if approved, 99% chance of Wal-Mart in Cudahy) and he doesn’t want Wal-Mart. I agree with you, I think it is a pipe dream that Wal-Mart will get in over at Penn & Layton with the Mayor and those close to him voting NO. I am sure he has offered them a push or a favor in voting on issues that concern them.
When running for mayor, he said Cudahy has an image problem and Wal-Mart would only make it worse In the past, McCue's said Wal-Mart doesn't fit in with transforming Cudahy into a high-end, adorable little commuter-rail 'burb.
Could Lisa Nelson from Wal-Mart be playing me on both sides? Sure, then again, does it matter which site Wal-Mart goes on? NO! Just as long as we get a Wal-Mart.
I do think you are right and have made that same conclusion that VandeWalle and Associates are not for Wal-Mart and will try to include Penn & Layton in the downtown master plan. I was told that the former dumpsite was never even considered for anything in the old master plan, since the 1st drawings of 794 had a ramp running through the middle of the Penn and Layton site, the 2nd set only brought it up to Layton. Remember who drew up those plans (VandeWalle and Associates) and the later expansion to Edgerton, again, no one ever gave thought that the land could ever be used for anything. I take that back, the last Mayor and Cobalt did.
Again, Monday May 12th could be extremely interesting. Watch to see if Wal-Mart shows up. If they have no interest in the site, why would they come to Cobalt's presentation?
On a side note, I checked with the K-Mart store manager and the Cudahy K-Mart is 97,000 square feet and the Wal-Mart at 3355 S. 27th Street is138,000 square feet. Wal-Mart had proposed a new 99,000-square-foot Supercenter store on the south side of Kenosha.
Not sure if the timing of Barczak putting his downtown market on hold (if Wal-Mart comes in he pulls out), and Cobalt coming to the plan commission at this particular time, will help, or hurt the Wal-Mart / wave proposal. My guess is it will kill the project and that is what the powers that be want, just not the people. Are we getting the “We know better” than the people do attitude? When you stand too far from the people, you cannot tell the difference of a person saying NO or YES.