There have been many moments over the past 23 years that I’ve wanted to move my real estate office from Williams Bay to Lake Geneva. I’d consider it, then I’d think about it, and then, once I considered and thought, I’d forget about it and stay put in Williams Bay. The issues were always the same. Lake Geneva might have more bustle, but it also has high rent and limited parking and since I’m in and out of my office no less than 6-8 times per day the congestion of the city seemed a bad fit. Still, I never really stopped thinking about it.
This spring, the vacant lot on Broad Street owned by the City of Lake Geneva caught my attention. It was close to the lake, on a main thoroughfare, level and reasonably large, and yet it sat unsold. It was also overpriced. The common issues that plague Lake Geneva commercial real estate could be eliminated here, as the site was easy to get to (two blocks north of Main), which meant in the summer I would not have to drive through down to get to the office from my home on the Western end of the County. It would also have parking, which is something that I could not do without. And rather than being marooned in a business park and slated for irrelevance, I could be front and center, downtown. There was promise in this concept.
I was approached by Lake Geneva Architects around the same time, and we hatched a plan. We’d build a beautiful building, less like a commercial building and more like a high end home. We’d wrap it in dutch lap siding, put a cedar roof atop, a copper awning on the roadside, and use SDL windows and storefronts. We could build the perfect downtown building. With that concept understood, and our development group established, you’ll now notice a foundation on that property, and soon you’ll find the Lake Geneva real estate office of one Geneva Lakefront Realty.
The building will host two main floor commercial spaces, one for my office and one for Lake Geneva Architects. The upper units will be residential, and they’ve been designed with some thoughtful considerations. The access to these upper units will be townhouse style, with private staircases and no common interior spaces. Each unit will be large, nearly 1600 square feet apiece, with two bedrooms and two baths, and oversized living spaces. Off of the living rooms each unit will have an Ipe deck. These will not be your standard issue Lake Geneva area condos, with dumbed down finishes and a production builder pedigree. These are custom units, with hardwood floors throughout, marble bathrooms, Viking appliances in the kitchens, and wood-burning fireplaces. The units will have ample parking as well, which is good, because in this location you’ll need a place to leave your car parked while you spend your weekends strolling, to everything. I do believe we have the perfect design for this property. Low density, residential scale, and a wildly visible location.
The goal is to give the market something that it has never been offered. Turn key, high end condominiums right in the heart of downtown. Two blocks to Simple and Starbucks and the theatre and Avant. Two blocks to the Library and the lake and the beach. Two blocks to Medusa and Sopra and shopping. Two blocks to the shore path. Two blocks to everything. Wake up on a Saturday in July and walk over to the coffee shop. Then walk to the piers and watch the day begin. While these aren’t listed yet, they will be available through me. If you’re interested in receiving information on these units, please do let me know. There are only two residences, so I’m not exactly looking for a hoard of buyers here. Just two. We hope to deliver the finished product sometime in late May or June, with an anticipated asking price of $439k (pricing, availability and build details subject to change prior to contract). We also plan to keep the dues nice and low.
For now, I encourage you to watch the progress at 323 Broad Street. In spite of our initial glacial progress, it’s an exciting time.