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Property developer answers questions about plans for northwest neighborhood hostel

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- On Thursday, CBS 58 told you about residents on the northwest side of the city of Milwaukee concerned about a proposed hostel in their neighborhood.

Neighbors say they have reservations about the plans because they haven’t gotten straight answers.

On Friday, CBS 58 spoke with the developer to hear more about his plans for the redevelopment.

“In the process of developing the property, I also decided to add a co-working space, a coffee café, and also to utilize the top floor as a hostel.”

Dr. Saint One is behind a development project at the corner of 90th and Burleigh.

He thinks a hostel would have a positive impact in the area.

“I would like first of all to inform the neighbors of what I intend to do, I would like to get their feedback,” said One. “See how I can structure the operations of the hostel so it is something that they’re happy about. And also, most importantly, I’d like to be transparent about this.”

But neighbors say he wasn’t completely forthright with them.

They expressed concerns about having people coming and going, but he says it will only help revitalize the area.

“I think it will be good for our neighborhood to have such people. It will expand the cultural horizons of youths in the neighborhood,” said One. “From the perspective of a tool that facilitates cultural exploration, I think hostels are awesome.”

One says the property will be manned by 24-hour staff, won’t accept cash transactions, and parking won’t be an issue as many hostel-goers are backpackers.

“What concerns me is that you have too many proposals, you’re trying to propose too many venues in one site.”

Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd says she’s gotten many calls, and heard a lot of opposition from neighbors.

She understands their concerns, encouraging One to speak with them.

“You can’t just purchase a building in a community and say you’re going to build and redevelop the facilities to whatever you want it to be,” said Alderwoman Dodd. “There’s a neighborhood involved, and we are very vocal.”

Dodd says she and neighbors are willing to work with him, but he still needs to follow through with licensing, and having a project that fits the neighborhood.

“My encouragements for Dr. One, honestly it to take a step back, look at his proposal, and pick one thing,” said Alderwoman Dodd. “But the hostel can’t be one of them.”

There will be a meeting next Monday from 7-8 p.m. at the development project site where Mr. One and Alderwoman Dodd will attend to answer any questions from residents.

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