Kenosha County activity hugs the corridors

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:23 pm

As commercial development along Highway 50 heading into Kenosha continues to heat up, improvements to the intersection of the major east-west thoroughfare with I-94 are in the works. A frontage road is planned to make it easier to access high-volume businesses, including hotels and restaurants — without awkward left turns across several lanes of fast-moving traffic.

R.A. Smith & Associates, Brookfield, has been retained by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to provide highway design and surveying services for the first phase of a two-phase improvement project at Highway 50 and I-94. The project is located in the City of Kenosha, Village of Pleasant Prairie, and the Town of Bristol.
Construction of the first phase of the project is tentatively scheduled for 2005. A schedule has not been identified for Phase Two. The project will be underwritten by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration at a cost of about $11 million.
Phase I will entail making improvements to just less than a mile of Highway 50. The roadway will be reconstructed to a six-lane urban divided roadway east of the interstate and a four-lane urban divided roadway west of the interstate. Phase I will also include reconstruction the I-94 bridges over Highway 50.
Phase II will involve separating the frontage roads from the I-94 frontage road ramps on the south half of the interchange.

VK Development erupts along Highway 50
The infrastructure improvements will be crucial given the size of developments such as the 420-acre development on Highway 50, a half mile east of I-94. The project will include 200 acres of commercial/retail land use. VK Development is anticipating rapid development of commercial portions of the multi-use development, which is located within the village of Pleasant Prairie.
"In the commercial section, we have completed an 81-unit hotel, and a 32,000-square-foot retail center, and a hospital is nearing completion," VK Development President Vincent Kuttemperoor said. "That is St. Catherine’s Hospital. This will be a full tertiary care facility and will be open in July of 2002. In the commercial section, we also have an M&I Bank branch, and are negotiating with other potential users."
Behind the commercial area will be 900 units of senior housing, according to Kuttemperoor. That housing will augment 216 single-family homes, which are almost all built. A daycare center, a 118-unit nursing home facility and a 120-unit senior housing facility are also going into the development. The Milwaukee Archdiocese has purchased 15 acres for a church.
Despite progress to date, 110 acres of commercial space remain uncommitted.
"We have major players looking at it," Kuttemperoor said.
Kuttemperoor’s company owns a Hawthorne Suites hotel on the site, and hopes to bring in restaurants and retailers alongside.
"We actually turned down a Walmart there," Kuttemperoor said. "We actually had a contract for 25 acres but it was terminated because Walmart wanted a 24-hour operation."
Elsewhere in the Kenosha area, a Panera Bread Bakery and Chili’s Restaurant will be part of a $15 million commercial retail complex located on the former Pines/Frantal Nursery site in the 6900 block of 75th Street. in Kenosha. The project is currently under construction.
A Texas Roadhouse Restaurant is under construction on an outlot of the Woodman’s grocery store at I-94 and Highway 50, Pleasant Prairie.
Education Credit Union is developing a one-story 8,500-square-foot facility in the 4200 block of Highway 31. Occupancy is expected in the fall.

Smaller spec buildings on 50
In the Highway 50 corridor, limited speculative office space is being built targeting small users.
The second phase of Cornerstone Commons, a 12,000-square-foot Class A office building, is being constructed at Highway 50 and 104th Avenue. The building is situated on a 1.24-acre lot near the new St. Catherine’s Hospital and Aurora Medical Center. Bear Realty is positioning the development to medical professionals.
At 52nd Street and Highway 31, partners Mark Riley and Andrew Palmen are developing an 8.6-acre parcel as a new office park. An initial building — a 12,000-square-foot structure to be called Shanron Offices, is scheduled for occupancy in early 2002. Units as small as 1,000 square feet will be available.

February 1, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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