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Razing Riverbrook

The old Pig 'n Whistle soon will be no more.

The site at 1111 E. Capitol Dr. soon will be a nearly clean slate for prospective developers, as Shorewood plans to raze the building on the lot by June. 

The Village Board Monday approved a $60,100 contract with Advanced Restoration to demolish the former Riverbrook Restaurant, a boarded-up and abandoned building that greets drivers as they enter Shorewood on its western border.

The work will include building demolition, full removal of the basement, and restoration (topsoil and seed) of the area in the immediate vicinity of the buildings. An alternate bid that included stripping out and seeding the parking lot would have added an additional $35,000 to the demolition cost. 

The village has already — up to $60,000 — to raze the old Riverbrook Restaurant.

It plans to recoup the cost to raze the building through a special assessment on the owner Sunrise Shorewood WI Senior Living's tax bill, according to an agreement approved by the Village Board late February.

Sunrise bought the property from the restaurant owners with plans to redevelop the site into a $16 million senior facility, but abandoned those plans due to the recession.

Sigma Engineering was tasked with preparing the bid and doing some pre-demolition work under a $5,000 contract awarded in November last year.

The site also was the former home of the popular Pig 'n Whistle, until it became Riverbrook Restaurant in 1992.

Onederteam May 17, 2011 at 07:54 AM
Another bill that the Shorewood Taxpayers are stuck with. A thriving small business was closed so a big developer could make money on a project and a promise that they couldn't deliver. Now the taxpayers are stuck paying the $60,000+ to demolish what was a very fine facility and gathering spot . Maybe the village should get some financial verification instead of promises before they board up and ruin other hard working businesses that actually pay taxes.
Charly Jones May 17, 2011 at 10:45 AM
Let's only elect officials who are clairvoyant. Then they would know that a global financial meltdown was in the works.
John J. O'Neill Sr. May 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM
The Riverbrook was an even better place than the Pig n' Whistle although the latter had a better name. If this were happening in Milwaukee or WFB then you know that this lot would sit empty for years. Shorewood, however, knows how to do business and work with, not against repsonsible developers. It will announce plans for the site that will put it to good use and increase the tax base sometime soon.
Bob McBride May 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM
Actually it sounds like they're going to go after Sunrise for the cost of the demolition. Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the pace at which they're considering some of the massive developments (along with associated TIFs) on Oakland than this. We're still not out of the woods on the recession thing and it might be worth taking a cue from what's happened in the 3rd Ward and Beerline areas in terms of occupancy rates, both residential and retail. Bulking up an area to the that degree quickly can result in some of the anticipated revenue streams used to justify such developments on an individual basis not coming to fruition
John J. O'Neill Sr. May 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM
The Riverbrook was an even better place than the Pig n' Whistle although the latter had a better name. If this were happening in Milwaukee or WFB then you know that this lot would sit empty for years. Shorewood, however, knows how to do business and work with, not against, responsible developers. It will announce plans for the site that will put it to good use and increase the tax base sometime soon.
Dawn Anderson May 17, 2011 at 01:00 PM
@onederteam. First, please note that Sunrise, the company that owns the property, is going to be assessed for the $60,000 - not Shorewood residents. Second, the "thriving small business" closed of its own accord. The village did not close it, "ruin" it, or "board it up".

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