Looking on the Bright Side
Traver Hotel razing?
This blighted building is supposed to come down sometime in February. That it’s past mid-month might have escaped the demolishers notice. Maybe they are simply exceedingly quick at their work. The
(EGAD! for short) has purchased the hulk, sent in fake alien kidnappers to get rid of the asbestos, or whatever they were doing, and now claims that the building will come down in February, and that the empty lot will be sold off for development. There has been nothing said or done so far about this old husk of a hotel that has had any reality to it, at least not for some time. So what makes it at all likely that the new plan will be adhered to?
It would be nice to see the development corporation develop anything. Egad, you think? Just trying to understand what the economic development corporation ‘is’ tends to make any listener massage his or her head. It will be interesting to see if this hotel goes down and if anyone (other than Fred Gahl who picked up the old middle school in Williams Bay for less than a song) bids on the empty lot.
Lake Geneva’s future needs are to be vested in the elderly?
The Symphony Bay development is a very compact, dense retirement pile of multi-residences built one atop the other. The following comparisons helps to explain just how compact and densely packed the Symphony Bay Development, to be constructed off the 120 bypass near the car wash, will be. Comparing actual housing land; the land for housing in the Edgewood subdivision has about twohouses per acre and typical housing in the City of Lake Geneva runs four to five houses per acre. The Pioneer Park has about six trailers per acre; whereas, Symphony Bay will have slightly more than seven houses per acre. Lots are going to be very small with many lots only fifty feet wide with only a ten-foot space between houses. For reference, lots in Pioneer Estates are 60 plus feet wide.
This is not the kind of development that the planning commission and the city council should be planning for the future of the City of Lake Geneva. The Symphony Bay retirement village is the wrong image, and is moving in the wrong direction for a sustained future for Lake Geneva and its residents. Continuing to build assisted living facilities, senior housing and retirement housing for the aging baby boomer generation will trap Lake Geneva in a similar type of housing surplus bubble that ended in the delayed housing collapse of 2008 after baby boomers started selling more houses than they were buying.
Baby Boomers are currently starting to move out of the standard housing market into retirement housing. That move is what’s currently fueling the retirement housing developments craze. Short term, the city may benefit from the building of these compact retirement centers, but it could end in a similar manner as the housing crash of 2008, with surplus retirement housing being empty for years. There are boom and bust cycles, and heavily investing in boom as the current city management is heading in this sidetracked ephemeral way, leads to collapse when it ends. Lake Geneva’s future needs to be vested in the youth and not concentrated in its elderly retirement market.