Most developers don’t have to worry about coral reefs that are more than 400 million years old when planning their latest multi-family developments. Stewart Wangard, though, does, at least with The Reef, the latest residential development taken on by Milwaukee-based Wangard Partners.
The Reef is a 180-unit residential development featuring four two-story 18-unit buildings and two four-story L-shaped buildings that will wrap around the development in the village of Wauwatosa, Wis. But the project is no ordinary one. It also sits north and adjacent to the 425-million-year-old Schoonmaker fossil reef. The Schoonmaker Reef has been named a National Historic Landmark, and is known as the first fossil reef identified within the United States. More than 200 different fossil species have been identified from this particular coral reef. Wangard, then, is not only worrying about the progress of The Reef, his development, he’s also concentrating on the preservation of the nearby reef under the waters, working closely with the city in order to help protect the Schoonmaker Reef so that the residents of his new development — and anyone visiting the area — can actually enjoy the rather amazing structure.
“I bet most developers haven’t worked that closely with scientists,” said Wangard, chairman and chief executive officer of Wangard Partners. “We have been. The scientists have been working side-by-side with us throughout the development. This is an impressive coral reef. Just to contemplate something that is this old. It pre-dates the time when dinosaurs walked the earth.”
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