Home(town) Improvement

Christmas in May? The potential is there. Lets see what Simon says... 10:00 am on Monday...

We do not get a lot of new home construction here in the Garden Community.  There is just no open land. And Milwaukee County is very sensitive about new housing starts in Whitnall Park. As a result, we just do not see houses being built inside the bubble.

Those orange barrels on Grange – at the construction site of the Senior Apartments - are just to hold back the curious.  Apparently, what they are doing there is called “digging the foundation.”  Cool, right?

The last big housing boom in Greendale was back in the 1970’s.  The Disco Era was not known as the time of Quality Construction. 

Workers were, and understandably so, distracted.  Just quick slap a coat of paint on that particle board and let the night begin.  Soffits could not compete with Peaches and Herb.  ‘Hammer time’ meant strapping on the puka shell choker, gulping down a Tequila Sunrise and showing off your inner Travolta.  Permits? Permit me to do The Hustle.

That said, these disco era homes are still standing, dry-rot notwithstanding.  In their way, they have stood the test of time.  They are now middle-agers.

A lot of these middle-aged homes are occupied by middle-aged people.  The onus of upkeep should fall upon the middle-aged man.  We might not be any good at it, but guys, it is us that should keep up with the home repair. Why? Middle aged men have the same symptoms as the house.

When you hear a woman talking about leaky pipes, shingles and musty odors, you do have to inquire if she is referring to her husband or her house.  Caution: ‘Damp basement’ may be a euphemism.  Plumbing issues can go way beyond a sweating tank.

Take nothing for granted.  For example, when you hear talk of the Favre’s ‘flashing problem’ it most likely has little to do with that metal around the base of their chimney. 

Let’s move on.

Greendale’s biggest ‘house’ is Southridge – home of Wisconsin’s largest indoor mall.  Completed in 1970, it is one huge middle-ager, a serious candidate for “Biggest Loser” and in dire need of a serious make-over.  On May 23, 2011 there will be an announcement – they are saying a “big announcement” - regarding Southridge. 

Despite being disappointed by past Milwaukee area Big Announcements (Why did they make Elton John sing “Tiny Dancer” to that Harley crowd?) I am giddy - yes, giddy - with anticipation. Greendalers - it is our Christmas Morning. Think big, think Red Ryder BB Gun big.

What could it be?  What is the Southridge Big Announcement?  More kiosks in the aisles?  No, it has to be more than that.  Filling in the gape that was the Gap with computers hard-wired into Amazon.com?  While interesting, I bet it will be something even bigger.  Simon says… “Big Announcement!”

On May 23 the owner of Southridge - Simon Property Group – in conjunction with Village officials - will let us in on the plan.  This is a $52 million present, neatly wrapped with $16 million TIF bow.

The Greendale Renaissance gains focus 10:00 Monday morning.  This, Greendale, could be serious Hometown Improvement.

Go ahead, be Christmas morning giddy and lets see what Simon says.

Chris Metz May 19, 2011 at 01:44 PM
What an appropriate column to read after a middle aged me just plunged through a blockage in my late '70s era home.
Mike Vickery May 19, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Blockage is never your friend!
David Mooney May 19, 2011 at 04:18 PM
How true! Great analogy!
Julie Ernest May 19, 2011 at 09:08 PM
Your wit interwined with the town news makes your column an enjoyable read! Thank you Mike!


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