Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Special to the Readers of
Plenty of Horne

By Michael Horne

And the Plenty of Horne Hound Dog Team

On June 15th, 2010, the City of Milwaukee Common Council abolished the East Village Conservation Overlay District it enacted in 2006. [File 091603] It appears the Bondar Brothers, owners of the fabled Wolski's Tavern [Est. 1908], longtime opponents of the district, are poised to take advantage of the lack of special zoning restrictions to tear down two buildings for the purpose of creating an outdoor patio and additional parking -- and perhaps to assemble a sizable parcel for future development.

The Wolski's parking lot at 1826 N.Pulaski St was once occupied by dwelling units torn down in the late '90s. It was perhaps Milwaukee's first Green demolition, as practically every board in the building was recycled.

Now, the buildings on either side of the lot -- one next door to the tavern -- may be demolished. A four unit building at 1822 N. Pulaski St. owned by the Bondars, and immediately south of the parking lot is being vacated by its long term residents according to my personal observation and discussion with neighbors.

A duplex at 1832 N. Pulaski St. not owned by the Bondars, immediately south of the tavern (1836 N. Pulaski St.) could be pulled down to give Wolski's a possibly needed Beer Garden / smoking area.

It doesn't take much to pull down a building in Milwaukee, but a parking lot would require an appearance before the city Board of Zoning Appeals, which says no application has been received thus far. There is likewise no record of application for permits for demolition for any of the properties.

However, the tavern and its contiguous properties could eventually provide a sizable building site at some point in the future. The Bondar Tower has long been a dream. The Zoning Overlay District specifically prohibited accumulation of properties for the purpose of creating large developments there. It was hoped the overlay would help preserve the character of the neighborhood, consisting mostly of frame dwellings on narrow, crowded lots dating to the late 19th century.

In the meantime, vacant land would provide considerably less tax revenue to the local taxing authorities. Tax collections on the two properties mentioned above totaled about $13,000 for 2009. Minus the improvements, tax collections would drop to about $5,000 for the vacant land.


John DiMotto said...

Glad to see you blogging again.

blurondo said...

I wholeheartedly agree.