Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:38 pm
A Milwaukee developer wants to build a 10- to 11-story, $80.5 million, 134-unit apartment and condo high-rise in downtown Kenosha, on a vacant site that is one of eight blocks the city has identified in an ongoing downtown redevelopment plan.
On Thursday, the Kenosha Plan Commission will review conceptual development plans for the 1.6-acre site at the northeast corner of 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue. Commission members will review and comment on the plans, but won’t be voting to approve anything related to them.
The project, known as The Brindisi Towers, is being put forward by Milwaukee-based Asia Pacific Racing Development, doing business as ARD Inc. The project architect is Cedarburg-based The Kubala Washatko Architects Inc.
According to city documents, the project would total 515,250 square feet and stand 133 feet tall. That height is comparable to the Juneau Village Apartments in Milwaukee, according to Emporis.
The Brindisi Towers would include a 10-story structure on the south end and 11-story structure on the north end. One tower would contain 80 high-end apartments and the other would have 54 high-end condos.
The towers would be connected on the first three floors. Those levels include would 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, which would consist of a high-end restaurant and public health club. A total of 372 covered parking spaces would be located on the first three floors as well as an underground level.
Nestled between the two towers would be a fourth-floor grassy terrace. The terrace would include an 1,800-square-foot club house with kitchen and party space, outdoor grilling areas, seating areas with fire pits, a dog walk area and patio spaces for the fourth-floor residential units.
The proposed development represents the first in a series of projects identified in the city’s Downtown Kenosha Redevelopment Vision. The downtown plan seeks to bring new commercial and civic developments to an eight-block, 25-acre area abutting Kenosha’s harbor and central business district.
Specifically, Kenosha officials desire new commercial and residential developments in addition to a performing arts center, public park and city hall.
Zohrab Khaligian, Kenosha community development specialist, said The Brindisi Towers project fits into the city’s overall plan.
The site is identified as “Block H” in a city RFP. There, the city calls for a mixed-use building up to 10 stories high with first-floor commercial uses and residential on the upper floors.
The Brindisi Towers is similar to another project proposed for the same site about a decade ago. That development never moved forward due to market conditions tied to the Great Recession, Khaligian said. This new proposal has a different developer but the same architect as the original one, he added.
A chief reason the Plan Commission is slated to review and comment on the project this week is its proposed building height, said Khaligian. The city only allows building heights of up to 100 feet for this area, so the project as it stands would require a zoning ordinance amendment.
“It’s really the first opportunity for the Plan Commission to see how it’s been modified from the original proposal and also to start a conversation on how to address the increased height,” he said.
According to the developer, the project addresses the need for luxury housing in the community.
“From a tactical perspective, ‘The Brindisi Towers’ are being built to begin addressing the significant void of mid-to-high end residential housing throughout Kenosha County,” Joseph Chrnelich, president of ARD, states in a letter to the city. “Our research and other reports clearly and convincingly show a strong and urgent demand for this level of quality residential housing.”
Chrnelich mentions in the letter that market demand comes from a number of sources, including: Illinois residents moving across the border; professionals who work in the Chicago area but prefer to live in Kenosha; employees for companies that are establishing or expanding their presence in the area, such as Pleasant Prairie-based Uline Inc., German candy manufacturer Haribo and Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Nexus Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and faculty and staff working at various universities in the greater Kenosha area.
ARD did not respond to a request for further comment.