Affiliate of Hard Rock negotiating 59-acre land purchase along I-94 in Kenosha

The Bristol Village Board and Community Development Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to sell 60 acres of land to Hard Rock International for about $15 million.
The Bristol Village Board and Community Development Authority voted unanimously in July 2022 to sell 59.2 acres of land to Hard Rock International for about $15 million.

Last updated on July 14th, 2022 at 12:16 pm

An affiliate of Davie, Florida-based Hard Rock International is in negotiations to purchase 59 acres of land located southwest of 60th Street and I-94 in Kenosha.

Although the land is owned by the village of Bristol it is located within the city of Kenosha because of a boundary agreement between the two municipalities. During a June special meeting of Bristol’s Village Board and Community Development Authority, a sales proposal from Kenosha Landco, LLC was approved.

Kenosha Landco and Hard Rock International have the same Davie, Florida address listed as their headquarters. A media representative with Hard Rock was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Hard Rock International had previously planned to partner with the Menominee Indian Tribe to develop a $800 million Hard Rock Hotel and Casino complex at the former site of Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, but the plan was rejected by then Gov. Scott Walker in 2015.

Other media sources, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin Spotlight, are reporting plans for a Hard Rock Kenosha casino could be revived at the site the company is in negotiations to buy from the village of Bristol.

The approved sales proposal shows the 59 acres is split up into four parcels with a combined sales price of $59.2 million. It also includes a $50,000 option agreement to hold the land for a year. Hard Rock can extend the option agreement for another year by paying another $50,000.

A July 8 announcement posted on Bristol’s website explains their village attorney is still in negotiations with Kenosha Landco on the land sale and that the LLC did not disclose its development plans for the property.

“All approvals for use has to come from Kenosha since that is where the land is located,” reads the letter. “The Village Board took the highest offer to maximize the investment made in the land.”

Bristol Village Administrator Randall Kerkman said the village has been marketing the land for over 20 years and officials were pleased with the interest it recently garnered. The village received three separate offers for the land and officials went with the highest bidder. Now, Kenosha must review any proposed use for the land.

“We’re just the landowner and we often caution anybody that’s making an offer to talk to the city. We have no idea if they did or not,” Kerkman said.

He reinforced that from the village’s side of things, they did not receive any official documents or plans for the site from Hard Rock International.

“They did not disclose (their plans). It’s a lot of hearsay and rumors but we have no document to confirm anything,” Kerkman said.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian was not immediately available Tuesday for comment.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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