Green Lake could see an influx of 50 housing units on 19 acres surrounding Evensong Spa, but it’s unclear when most units will be developed.
Developer Mike White recently detailed initial plans for what he calls the ‘Evening Singing Community’, an ‘upscale’ housing development.
While White’s plans for the housing development became clearer at last week’s meeting of the Green Lake Plan Commission, new Evensong Spa owner Matt Rogatz also recently unveiled his vision for the spa.
White hopes to bring 50 new units to Green Lake, he will not directly develop the properties.
Instead, he plans to divide the 19 acres into about 35 lots, which will be sold to developers. He also wants to create an association of owners which will establish the rules of the community.
The lots will be a mix of single family homes and duplexes.
“I don’t build or sell houses,” White said. “I’m just dividing it all up and selling the lots, and creating a homeowners association with covenants and restrictions for the whole community.”
Individuals who buy the lots will be able to hire any contractor to build the houses.
White said much of the infrastructure exists within the Evensong community, noting that a cul-de-sac needs to be built and gas and electric utilities will need to be brought to the properties.
White sees the project unfolding in four phases:
The first phase includes 4.5 acres for 11 single-family residential lots;
The second phase includes 11 single-family residential lots and three duplex lots on 8.4 acres;
The third phase includes four single-family lots on 2.1 acres adjacent to the Tuscumbia Golf Course;
And phase four includes nine duplex lots on 3.9 acres.
“I don’t know if it will take a year to sell or seven years,” White said of the four-phase schedule.
He noted that the area is heavily forested with grasslands and rolling terrain, and is within walking distance of downtown Green Lake.
White thinks the rustic landscape lends itself to “more upscale” housing development, and he envisions larger homes than one would see in other parts of the city.
“The feel of the neighborhood would be more upscale – something between Maplewood and Tuscumbia Meadows, while taking advantage of the area’s natural forests and topography,” he said.
White hopes to market the first phase by mid-August, noting that some aspects of the project will require city approval.
Green Lake Mayor Ray Radis noted that the city is not exploring a tax increase funding district for the proposed development and that much of the underground water and sewer infrastructure exists. already since Fiore Companies owned the property.
“We welcome any type of development and housing in the Town of Green Lake and will help them through the process,” he added.
Despite continued property development, White sold Evensong Spa to Rogatz last month.
Before Rogatz bought the spa, he bought the Green Lake Inn, W1970 South Lawson Drive.
His plans for the spa will tie into his work at the Green Lake Inn and the Angel Inn Bed and Breakfast down the road, which he also purchased.
Rogatz hopes to use the three properties to offer special wedding packages, where honeymooners can stay at the bed and breakfast.
In fact, he also bought a shuttle to take visitors from place to place.
“With Evensong Spa, then, the wedding party can go together and get a day at the spa,” Rogatz said. “I would sell all of that in a package. I just really want to make Green Lake even better than it already is.
He added that Evensong Spa does not yet have a target reopening date as it is looking for the right staff to help it run.
“We are looking for high-end spas and salons,” he said.
The sale of the spa included the fully renovated building and the facilities inside, White said last month after the sale closed.
White believes the commissioning of the spa will benefit the community of Green Lake and the Heidel House Hotel & Conference Center, especially during the winter months.
“I sincerely wish this gentleman or entity good luck because if he can really get it off the ground where I’ve had challenges, it would lift all boats,” White said.
Madelyn Kohn contributed to this article.