Parkland Mall Owner's Frustration Continues

While the city has maintained silence over recent mediation, the developer/owner of the nearly 11-acre parcel in Muskego's downtown relays his frustration in the inability to reach an agreement to settle lawsuit.

As the by property owner Art Dyer failed in mediation earlier this month, officials had little to say about the specifics of the negotiations involving the former Parkland Mall site.

"The specifics of mediation are not to be discussed by anyone at the direction of the mediator so as not to harm the mediation process. The city will continue to honor that," Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said.

However, Dyer had plenty to say after Chiaverotti's statement during her last week indicated that Dyer had "backed out of negotiations." 

Dyer claims that the city conspired to prevent him from developing the land, in effect taking the property from him.

He sent a recap of his issues with the city in an email to the mayor, aldermen and media, reiterating his complaint with the city for what he saw as misconduct over the years. He also took issue that the city chose to use a different appraiser to come up with a value on the Parkland property.

"The city has already addressed the allegations and is awaiting rulings on various motions seeking dismissal of the lawsuit," Chiaverotti responded. "The city is not going to comment outside the pending litigation about Art's personal views." 

Dyer also indicated what his company, Parkland Venture LLC, was seeking going into mediation, and what the city had countered that brought to an end the day-long mediation.

"Parkland offered to sell the property to the city for $15.9 million plus legal costs and attorney fees including release of all Parkland claims," Dyer wrote.   "The city countered to purchase the land and settle all claims in the entire law suit for $2 million. Parkland rejected that offer out of hand asking the City for its final and best offer. The city made a final and best offer of $2.4 million dollars." 

Dyer also made a comparison to the value of his property to the recent

"When demolition of houses for the two lake properties is taken into consideration, the purchase price offered for Parkland is about half what the city is paying to purchase two homes with about two-thirds less land area, which unlike Parkland do not already have zoning for 140 condominiums," he wrote.

Dyer pointed to aldermen Neil Borgman, Dan Soltysiak and Kert Harenda, who had "endorsed the city going forward with review of my proposal as they believe it has merit, as does (Community Development Authority) Chairman (Rob) Glazier."

Although he said that the mayor's statement that he had backed out of negotiations was "absolutely not accurate," Dyer explained that the city's "best and final offer of $2.4 million dollars" was rejected, and the mediation is over — at least for now.

Although the mediator returned asking Parkland to make another offer, he said "Parkland responded it would wait until after the election and possible upcoming recalls to reply."

The city has agreed to consider mediation again after the April 3 election, in which three aldermanic seats are up for grabs.

Rick Petfalski March 28, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Simple, couple of things, first I never answered your "Recall" question. Answer is generally "no" I supported the recall of Mayor Damaske, and I admit part of that was personal, but most was due to his actions in office that was putting this city at risk of legal problems.
Rick Petfalski March 28, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Simple, The parkland mall is the reason I got in politics to start with. I was frustrated by the cities lack of support for what at the time was a reasonable request by Dyer for an allocation of TIF funds to get the project moving. The TIF was approved and still no movements from the developer. Alderman Kathy really didn't have much to do with the project while in office. She supported the TIF request and waited like the rest of us for some movement from Dyer. When I took office, Art came forward with a new partner who had a very good reputation and proposed the larger condo/mix use proposal, but was now asking for a much larger tif than the development would support according to outside experts. With modifications to the height of the building, it might have been a nice development, but the city was being asked to kick in too much. Art and his partners parted ways, and I ultimately left office for the school board. A number of proposal went back and forth for a over the years, until Art decided that his assessment was too high, even though it was much less than what he claimed to property was worth. He then came up with a genius idea of converting the land to agriculture. You got to give the guy credit for thinking of it. You also have to blame the state for the laws that allow it. So your comment about the Mayor having her hand in this thing for so long is not really accurate. I believe the person with the longest "Hand" and most contentious relationship was Salentine.
The Anti-Alinsky March 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Bacon, I doubt that the two resolutions is what is holding up the sale of the property. Really, if a sale is just about finalized why wouldn't the common council rescind them? I would bet almost no developer knows about them since it was over ten years ago.
Heidi Lindhorst March 30, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Think of the opportunity cost of leaving the tree farm undeveloped. For example, missed property tax revenue, and the cost of the poor public image the tree farm projects. Does it create a negative impression of the city to those who otherwise might shop or dine here, or on a much larger scale, buy homes or locate businesses here? Finally, what is the capacity of that land, once developed, to draw traffic and increase revenue flow within the city? It’s really about ROI…a much larger prize than the cost of the property itself.
The Anti-Alinsky March 31, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Heidi the ROI would take a long time to recover if you buy something for five times more than it's worth. Why should the City of Muskego provide corporate welfare for Art Dyer? He can easily make a tidy profit if he just builds something reasonable. I know you are trying to divert attention from the lake park proposal, but that has the potential, if we do it right, to really bring something great to the city, including the possibility of a senior center. Let's see what this ad-hoc committee can come up with before we give away the city. I will say it again, the only thing stopping Art Dyer from developing the Parkland site is Art Dyer.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »