More in store


The intersection of Highway 50 and I-94 in Kenosha County is poised to attract major new development in 2007. At the northwest corner of the intersection, Quality Centers, a Florida-based developer, is planning a large shopping center between 800,000 and 1 million square feet, said Gary Stetson, managing partner with the company. Quality Centers currently owns 40 acres in Kenosha and has options on an additional 155 acres, he said.

Some site work has been done on the land the company owns, Stetson said. Further work will begin in a few weeks, after a traffic study is finalized. Construction could begin as early as this summer.

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Stetson declined to name any tenants coming to the new development, named the Kenosha Town Center. The project will be done in a “lifestyle center” style, he said, and will consist of several buildings with a mix of retail, entertainment and food uses.

“It will be a mix of buildings,” Stetson said. “We’re talking to some (companies) about entertainment and a nice restaurant component on some of the outparcels.”

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Quality Centers’ plans will become more concrete in coming months, Stetson said.

“We’re taking our time to do it right,” he said. “Realistically, we’ll have a better idea when we go to the city in a few months.”

While he would not name tenants, Stetson said the new project would be a dramatic departure from the former Original Outlet Mall, which was just south of the parcel the Kenosha Town Center will be built on.

“Our goal is to build something a little more upscale than Racine and Kenosha has experienced,” he said.

Quality Centers is a shopping center development firm headquartered in Orlando. In its 28 years, the company has only developed about 2 million square feet of retail space. The Kenosha Town Center will be by far the company’s largest development to date, Stetson said.

Work has already started to redevelop the former Original Outlet Mall property at the southwest corner of I-94 and Highway 50 in the Town of Bristol. The outlet mall was demolished in 2006. The property is owned by Highland Park, Ill.-based Tucker Development Corp., and construction is now underway of a new, 55,000-square-foot Ashley Furniture Homestore.

The Ashley store is the only formally announced development for the site, although plans on Tucker Development’s Web site show three 8,000-square-foot commercial sites being developed there, as well as a site for a hotel with 121 rooms. The conceptual drawing also includes four additional lots on the site where additional development could occur. Repeated calls to Tucker Development Corp. were not returned.

The Town of Bristol wants to see restaurants and high-end retail developed on those sites, said Randy Kirkman, Bristol’s town administrator.

“We’ve seen (Tucker’s) plan,” he said. “We’re kind of open, but there’s not been much talk.”

Kenosha County and Bristol officials believe the Ashley Furniture store will spur more commercial growth at the site.

“I think that the Tucker development, with Ashley under construction will generate more commercial activity in the near future,” said John Roth, planning manager for Kenosha County. “We have a lot of different groups that are hovering and looking at multiple locations. One by one, they’re landing at a particular site, some in Bristol, some in the Town of Somers, some in the City of Kenosha.”

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