By now you’ve read the articles in Crain’s and the Tribune, so I don’t need to tell you that Aurora University has found a buyer for their cherished George Williams College Campus on the western edge of Williams Bay. I’m thrilled to be representing the buyer (Topography) in this important transaction, and feel that the true height of my paltry lifetime accomplishments will undoubtedly be my involvement in the Yerkes and GWC property sales. These properties matter to me personally and to the community, and I feel honored to help shape the future as these legacy properties evolve towards sustainable uses.
You can read elsewhere about the details of the GWC purchase, and about the remarkably thoughtful and considerate buyer group whom I’m representing, so I won’t explain the concept to you in full detail. But I will tell you that you likely know by now how concerned I am about this lake. And you should know how much I hate development. And you should know that I care more about what the lake looks like in 20 years than I do what it looked like yesterday. Because of these conditions I am overwhelmed with excitement about this pending change on our shoreline. The Topography concept elevates and protects and refines this section of lakefront, and I couldn’t have hoped for a more suitable, sensitive, improvement of this property. When I heard that GWC was going to close, I feared the absolute worst. I figured a developer would bully in to the process and seek to develop the farm lands and the old golf course. It’s too valuable to be left alone. I figured the lakefront would find some townhouses, the sort that are eating Fontana alive. I figured things would get busier, denser, and worse.
And then I met Liam from Topography, and I introduced him to the nuances of our market and the unspoken demands of our community. I didn’t have to convince him of anything. He understood. And from that moment forward I have committed to helping this group take our world class lake and thoughtfully construct a world class use on our shores. Most of us here wish to see things stay the same, and I don’t need to tell you that I’m fully in that camp. But often properties just can’t continue as they once were, and the goal then is to find a path where the properties can beautify our views and increase our enjoyment without spoiling the open spaces that we’ve long taken for granted. This plan threads that needle and while I’m excited to be involved, I’m even more excited for our community and everyone who loves our lakefront.
Above, image courtesy Topography. A rendering of the magnificent vision for the George Williams College lakefront.