Pleasant Prairie home companion

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:29 pm

    The Village of Pleasant Prairie is finally seeing plans materialize for the Community Development Authority’s interstate highway redevelopment and beautification project.
    Plans have been in the works for nearly two years as the Community Development Authority was created, the $22 million tax incremental financing (TIF) district was approved and the group began condemning 850 acres of blighted properties on the west side of Interstate 94.
    "In Kenosha County, this is one of the biggest redevelopment projects that will be under way, and I think it will have an impact on the region, the county and the state, as far as consumer traffic," said Michael Pollocoff, the Pleasant Prairie village administrator. "Ideally, we would have facilities that will rival Illinois and Milwaukee. I think this will really raise the bar."
    The village is still acquiring land and only in the first week of May received approval for sewage and utility adjustments.
    "Our original concept was to start earlier, but we have just recently begun," said Jean Werbie, village planner. "The point is not so much to get everything done by a certain time, but to get it done right the first time, making the development an attractive and viable location for the community."
    Werbie said Pleasant Prairie’s site improvement work will start in late summer or early fall. Utilities will be completed by 2005, and the land will then be for sale.
    "We will put the land up for sale and establish architectural standards and guidelines for what is built," said Pollocoff. "We will also be meeting with brokers to help us."
    The village is still in the process of acquiring the land from private owners, according to Werbie. Later this year, the bid for the frontage road realignment will be let through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
    Completion of grading is set for 2005. The frontage road realignment south of Highway C and west of I-94 will be ready for use in 2006.
    "People will notice the bulk of the project happening next year," Pollocoff said, "There has been a lot of positive response from the community and a lot of people have been looking for a better use of the land."
    Fourteen properties were condemned, including two adult bookstores, a military salvage operation, a recreational vehicle dealership and single-family homes, according to Pollocoff.
    Beyond road and utility improvements, Pleasant Prairie is putting together a marketing team to target certain types of businesses for the area.
    "We have identified a land use plan and zoning for the area, and we know what types of land uses we would like to see," Werbie said. "It varies from freeway service and retail as well as office and industrial. The commercial freeway services are very specific. We want gas, food and lodging establishments in terms of retail."
    Werbie said the intersection of I-94 and Highway 165 has become the gateway into both the village and the state of Wisconsin.
    On the west side of I-94, Pollocoff said he would like to see a duplicate of the Radisson Hotel that is east of the Interstate. Wetland enhancements also have been suggested.
    "It is going to be a Class A development," Pollocoff said. "We want the entrance to the village to look the best it can."
    The acreage west of I-4 next to the PrairieWood Corporate Park is being developed by WisPark, LLC, Milwaukee. The site will be available for development by 2005 and covers 270 acres. It will house the headquarters of Jockey International.
    "The west-end development will greatly control as well as promote new commercial and industrial development in the area," Werbie said. "It will bring a stronger community with more jobs and economic development, in Pleasant Prairie and all of Kenosha County."
    May 14, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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