Plan Commission Gets First Look at Concept for Senior Living Complex

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Cameron Bren
The Middleton Plan Commission heard a presentation last week, proposing a senior living complex on the city’s north side. Above is a concept drawing ot the facility.

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission reviewed the concept for a senior living building located between the belt line and Parmenter St. north of County Highway M. The proposal is a three story building with 99 units, of which 30 are independent living units, 48 assisted living units, and 21 in the basement-level are memory care units.

The proposal was introduced by Tom Peintka, co-owner of the real estate developer for the project’s TUKKA Properties. President of MIG Commercial Real Estate, the landowner, Bradley Hutter also shared information on how the project would change the overall plan for development along Tribeca Dr. 

He explained that the TUKKA project is first in a series of development projects coming to Tribeca which will eventually redevelop the entirety of the site, beginning next spring. 

Hutter told the plan commission that MIG intends to request an amendment to the previously approved plan for the overall development to extend Tribeca Rd. to Parmenter St. via Springton Dr.

He noted that when they presented the plan in January they struggled to make a clear way to connect with Tribeca Dr. because it is not completed. As the landowners, he said MIG has been trying to bring in development but could not get investment for a road without some permanent business plans.

“We found that people looking to invest substantial amount of time and dollars into something at Tribeca weren’t comfortable moving forward unless they knew there was some permanence in that,” Hutter said. 

Hutter said MIG would work with the city to make any intersection ended one that works best for the site, whether that’s a traditional intersection or a roundabout.

He added that the TUKKA development will bring about other developments because the sale of land creates the equity necessary to finish the road. MIG is currently in discussions with another real estate developer for a workforce housing project. Beyond that Tukka has a related project they would potentially bring next door. MIG also has a lead on an office development project and a current biotech tenant who is looking for more space, Hutter said.  

Hutter said those developments are all in line with the current general plan. He said that also includes the planned hotel which would be shifted slightly from its originally planned site. 

“If everything falls in place Tribeca might actually get completely developed within the next two years, which would be exciting,” Hutter said. “We’re looking forward to working with the planning commission and the city on making that happen in an efficient and appropriate way, and bringing that tax base and those jobs too Middleton.”

Mayor Gurdip Brar asked if market analysis indicated demand for senior housing in that location. Hutter said MIG would prefer to develop strictly office if possible, but is very happy about the use in this case. He pointed out that the city designates senior housing as a business commercial use rather than residential. 

Plan commission member Jennifer Murray asked about a possibility of vacating Springton Dr. to add green space. Hutter said they intend to keep the road for the developments but that they have a lot of green space planned in the overall development.

Pientka, CEO and co-owner of TUKKA Properties provided an overview of their company and their development portfolio. Pientka is also co-owner of Iconica Construction who would be the builder. Since starting TUKKA with his brother in 2012 the company has developed five properties in five different cities around Wisconsin.  

He shared information about those properties as representative of what Middleton could expect. TUKKA is partnered with Tealwood Senior Living based in Bloomington, MN to provide services. Until recently Tealwood operated in five states, Pientka pointed out, but now only in Minnesota and Wisconsin. TUKKA has an exclusive agreement to develop any new projects with Tealwood.

Pientka, being a Middleton resident himself for more than 30 years, said he would love to build in his own backyard.

He said in response to the mayor’s question about demand in their study they found Middleton was among the greatest in the state for senior housing. He said they found Middleton to be a hotspot for individuals over 80. 

Pientka said the data suggests that number will grow in the coming years. The average age of individuals entering Tealwood is 84. 

“We’re building for the future, we’re building for the baby boomers,” Pientka said.

The building would be designed for people living out their golden years, Pientka said. 

It  would feature restaurant style dining, a salon, wellness rooms and outdoor recreation. The building would also create 45 full-time jobs and 35 part-time jobs. It would also have a low impact on parks and schools and increase the city’s tax base, Pientka said. 

Issac Wallace of Iconica, presented design features for the development. He said senior living makes a good transition from business districts to residential as it is sort of both. 

The design focuses on maximizing the green space by providing outdoor amenities. Wallace presented imagery showing a “modern prairie” architectural style. He said the goal is to try to find balance between hotel and apartment or condo. The building would also have areas that can be used for hosting larger events or holiday gatherings. 

The plan would also include underground parking stalls for tenants and surface parking for employees.

Plan commission member Michael Slavish said before getting into design elements the plan commission should weigh in on the use of the site as senior living since it was replacing a big box store in the approved general plan.

Plan commission member Kurt Paulsen said the site did not seem walkable outside of the development itself and asked if there would be access to public transit. Pientka said Tealwood provides their own shuttle service. 

Murray asked about residents having access to walk to the nearby Graber Pond. Pientka said he believed a traditional stoplight at the intersection would allow residents to easily access the Graber Pond across Parmenter Rd. 

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