Just over a year after Red Dot, 6715 W. North Ave. in East Tosa, closed after a small fire, the owners have announced that their amended plan to replace the bar and restaurant and an adjacent laundromat will move forward.
Co-owner Anthony Lampasona said, "We have a fully approved new development with no obstacles standing in our way," in a post on Facebook.
A couple months after last year's fire, another co-owner Marty Beaudoin wrote on Facebook, "Our goal is to plan something that builds on the momentum we had with Red Dot and activates North Avenue in a unique way. Stay tuned."
The new development, designed by Arc-Int Architecture, which has offices in Walker's Point, is called Tosa Unity Apartments.
Beaudoin today confirmed that the new plan calls for razing the current buildings on the site and replacing them with a three-story building with retail on the first floor -- including a bar and restaurant -- and 17 market-rate residential units above.
The project also calls for 31 parking spaces.
A previous plan, calling for 21 apartments, along with retail space, was abandoned late last year after it became clear a project of that magnitude could not move forward at the site.
"Multi-use residences help keep a commercial corridor vibrant in many ways, including shifting the tax base from our residents to commercial developers and helping our retail businesses by bringing additional consumers to the neighborhood," said Ald. Joel Tilleson, whose district includes the East Tosa neighborhood.
"I'm grateful for Anthony and Marty bringing us a quality development that falls within our current zoning code and brings market rate living to East Tosa."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.