KABA buys downtown Kenosha building, Jockey to occupy retail space

The Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA) today announced it has purchased a 14,300-square-foot building at 5500 Sixth Ave. in downtown Kenosha. The 90-year-old building has been vacant for more than a decade.

KABA will convert the upper level of the building to office space and will move its offices to the building from its current location, 600 52nd St., which is about two blocks to the north. KABA will occupy 4,000 square feet of space and lease out the rest of the second floor space.

On the first floor of the building, Kenosha-based Jockey International Inc. will lease the 7,100-square-foot retail space. Jockey will relocate its closeout center at 4200 39th Ave. to the KABA building. The store offers discounted products and an assortment of value and closeout merchandise unavailable at other Jockey stores.

Jockey will also use a portion of the space to showcase memorabilia from its long history in Kenosha.

“Jockey has been part of the fabric of Kenosha for almost 120 years,” said Jockey chairman and chief executive officer Debra Waller. “Having a downtown store location is a great way to demonstrate Jockey’s commitment to serve the Kenosha community and I believe that the design of this store makes it a place that all Kenoshans can be proud of. We think it will only further enhance the wonderful downtown area.”

KABA president Todd Battle said the organization’s acquisition of the building is an outgrowth of its strategic plan for Kenosha, that recommended additional focus on downtown development initiatives.

“Downtown Kenosha plays a vital role in the community’s health and overall image,” he said. “We hope this project serves as a catalyst for continued investment and helps drive additional visitors and traffic to the downtown area.”

Kenosha-based Riley Construction Company Inc. is providing construction management services for the $1.5 million renovation of the building. The design work was done by the Kenosha office for Partners in Design Architects.

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