Former Kenosha union hall acquired by Bear Development

Bear CEO says redevelopment plans in the works

The former UAW Local 72 union hall in Kenosha has been acquired by Bear Development. (Credit: Google)

Bear Development has purchased the former union hall of the United Auto Workers Local 72 in Kenosha at 3615 Washington Road along with a vacant lot immediately south for $1.1 million, according to state records.

An affiliate of the Kenosha-based developer recently purchased 9.5 acres total from Local 72, including the former union hall as well a roughly 3.6-acre vacant lot to the south of that building, at the southwest corner of 40th Street and 35th Avenue, state records show.

S.R. Mills, chief executive officer and principal of Bear, said his firm is still working on plans to redevelop the recently acquired land and building.

“We have some ideas, but we’re still in the formulation (stage),” Mills said.

He said that Bear is working with aldermen and other city officials in crafting the plans. Mills added the site holds significance with many Kenosha residents and leaders.

“The facility is near and dear to a lot of people in the Kenosha area because of the UAW heritage,” he said.

Peggy Applegate-Peplinski, Local 72 president, said the union group recently moved out of the building and into its new location, at 3030 39th Ave. She referred further questions to Curt Wilson, chairman of the Local 72 retiree chapter and a Kenosha alderman. Wilson did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Rich Schroeder, deputy director with the city’s Department of Community Development, said the city has not received any formal development plans for either site recently acquired by Bear.

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Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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