Milwaukee-based developer HKS Holdings LLC has acquired the former West Bend Brewing Co. site, which it plans to redevelop into 177 apartments and 6,500 square feet of commercial space.
The roughly 3-acre site is located northeast of North Main Street and West Washington Street (Highway 33), along the Milwaukee River.
An affiliate of HKS, The District WB LLC, purchased the site on Monday for $1.13 million, according to state records. The deal included the parcels at 415 N. Main St. and 445-447 N. Main St.
The seller is West Bend-based WB Brewery Building LLC, which is registered to Clifton Davis.
Jay Shambeau, West Bend city administrator, said HKS contacted the city on Monday to inform them the deal had been executed.
The next step in the project is for utility relocation. Shambeau said We Energies will begin that work after the July 4 holiday. The work will involve taking down utility poles and burying the utilities underground, closer to the riverwalk than their current location.
"It's going to be a transformative project for our downtown," Shambeau said, "and connecting the brewery area to our existing downtown is really exciting."
Officials with the city and HKS in October revealed the developer's plans to construct apartments and space for retail or a restaurant at the site.
Many of the apartment units will views of the Milwaukee River and downtown, as well as walk-out patios with access to the neighboring Riverwalk.
“We want to bring luxury, riverfront living to beautiful downtown West Bend,” HKS Holdings principal Tyler Hawley said back in October. “Our design is intended to optimize views and access to the Riverwalk and downtown amenities. We look forward to becoming a part of the downtown neighborhood.”
HKS did not immediately provide a comment on the property acquisition.
The development has an estimated cost of $35 million, according to city documents. To facilitate the project, the city created a tax incremental financing district.
Using the new TIF district, the city is providing the developer a $1 million forgivable loan for site work and utility relocation. The developer will also collect up to $4.43 million over 27 years in the form of a "pay-as-you-go" grant. The money comes from increased property taxes collected as the result of the development.
The city will also complete $2.7 million in riverwalk improvements from vest pocket park to Rivershores Drive. This includes a pedestrian underpass at Highway 33, connecting the brewery site to downtown. The city will also make $1.5 million in improvements to Main Street from the project area south to Walnut Street.
Development in downtown West Bend has been on the rise recently, with the $3.5 million renovation of the historic West Bend Theatre, Riverwalk renovation, and redevelopment of the former Gehl Co. manufacturing site into the new Water Street Suites hotel and a senior residential community.