WHAT’S COMING AT US ALL
As the effects of the pandemic lessen across the culture because of the nearly universal positive results of the vaccines, there is going to be a wave of resurgence in acquisitions, building and development of real estate, and in business. Lake Geneva is ideally situated, less than fifty miles from the third-largest metropolitan area of the country (about 9,960,000 people, according to the 2020 census), to be the target for a good portion of this about-about-to-be-released post-pandemic energy, money, and enthusiasm.
How will this coming onslaught affect the City of Lake Geneva, and more specifically its local inhabitants (voters, renters, owners, residents, etc.)? The following, already considered projects, projects that would, and may, change the entire flavor of life at the north end of Geneva Lake are many and, although many have been shelved, the temporary nature of their being put in a sort of suspended animation can be changed at any time.
Lake Geneva is ruled by a small number of elected and appointed officials and there are few real qualifications to serve in almost any of those posts. At any time, sweeping changes can result from the most passive-seeming modifications to the leadership order and content.
First, Hillmoor, the huge chunk of now undeveloped property at the eastern edge of the city, is under the threats posed by a giant lawsuit. The current owners want to develop while most of the city residents do not want development there. Hillmoor, although quietly thrumming in the background, is coming back.
Second, attempts to close down South Lake Shore Drive permanently, convert the Maytag Lagoon into a yacht basin (at BigFoot Beach) under the rational (albeit phony ‘great cause’ excuse) idea that the current city pier must be moved for safety and the only place to logically move it is to where BigFoot beach sits in front of that lagoon.
Third, there is a slow underground movement by certain local developers to close down Wrigley Drive permanently, acquire the business properties on the north side of the Riviera (using the eminent domain), and then build a resort right down in the middle of the city center.
Fourth, the open areas along Highway 50 (Main Street), as it eases up and over Catholic Hill past St. Francis Church, are being considered by business development. There’s a current partially complete housing development just sitting there waiting, and several sizeable chunks of open vacant land on the south side of the road. That traffic is already a clogged mess on that stretch of highway during the summer months is generally forgotten or ignored during the winter months.
Fifth, the open areas located up along the northern end of Edwards Boulevard (as it twists and turns before becoming Sheridan Springs Road in the north, are set for development, even though Edwards Boulevard itself is already at capacity (and overcapacity during summer months).
Sixth, there is plenty of vacant property left out along Highway 120 (the Bypass), on both sides of the road near where the giant mess of old-people’s mis-named Symphony Bay is currently into its fifty iteration of high-density construction.
All of these potential areas of the coming development intensity must first be ever on everyone’s mind and then included in the planning and development of social constructs to channel any building that does not meet the needs of the current population or affect the future ‘flavor’ of the wonderful lake environment Lake Geneva has become. All of these mention areas to be aware of also do not include the influx of outside developers who are invisibly circling above the city, waiting to descend at the first sign that the community has weakened or become less alert to their predatory nature, or presence. They are coming, however, as they won’t simply circle overhead endlessly. The character and the manner of acting, as exhibited by the conduct of those involved with the current ownership of Whitewater Holdings LLC (Hillmoor’s owners) give a very good indication of just how bad a neighbor some of these waiting developers might actually be.