The City of Kenosha Plan Commission on Thursday will consider a Downtown Development plan from Cobalt Smith, a partnership of Cobalt Partners, LLC of Milwaukee and C. D. Smith, a general contractor and development firm based in Fond du Lac.
The comprehensive plan covers nine blocks of Downtown Kenosha bordered by Sheridan Road on the west, 52nd Street on the north, 56th Street on the south and Lake Michigan on the east.
Mayor John Antaramian noted that the plan is the result of collaborative efforts by the City and development team to craft a vibrant mixed-use district taking advantage of the lakefront, existing attractions and amenities, as well as multi-modal transit access including Metra train service from Chicago.
“The City has been planning for the next generation of downtown development for a number of years,” Antaramian said. “The development team brings a fresh perspective to Kenosha, backed by significant experience in public/private partnerships throughout Wisconsin and in other states.”
The plan calls for over 1,000 living units in several mid-rise buildings and one larger tower, along with condominiums on the eastern most block to complement the existing Harbor Park district. A central park and laneway would connect residential buildings with a market hall, food kiosk, and retail space.
Plans call for a full-service hotel on Sheridan Road along with two office buildings. Ample green space, green roofs and use of solar panels are just some of the sustainable features planned in the development.
The developers will work with the City to develop a new municipal office building, freeing up the current city hall site for a residential tower and mixed-use development.
The City is in discussions with Veteran’s organizations to create a new Veterans Memorial Park and expand the current park on the site.
“We’ve been impressed with the strong economic growth in Kenosha for many years,” said Scott Yauck, President of Cobalt Partners. “Kenosha’s lakefront is beautiful, and the downtown has many attractions, restaurants, and shopping. We are confident in the market for high quality multi-family with fantastic views and within walking distance to all the downtown and lakefront have to offer.”
Mike Krolczyk, Senior Vice President of C. D. Smith, noted “We have worked on large scale public/private partnerships in the Milwaukee, La Crosse, Madison, and Appleton communities. We see significant potential in Kenosha for the downtown to really blossom.”
The City Plan Commission will consider the plan on Thursday (May 11), and the Public Works and Finance Committees will review the Development Agreement prior to City Council consideration on May 15. The plan utilizes the existing Tax Increment District #27 to assist in funding needed public improvements, parking, and the central parkspace.
Construction could start in late fall of this year, and the development is anticipated to be completed in phases over a 7-10-year time frame. The development is expected to create more than $450 million in value.
The conceptual master plan and preliminary building designs were developed by SCB Architects – Chicago office. SCB designed the 7SEVENTY7 (Van Buren) apartment building in downtown Milwaukee, as well as the 333 North Water Street apartment tower, currently under construction in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.