Racine continues moving forward with RootWorks redevelopment

Fox-Point based General Capital beginning negotiations to redevelop J.I. Case Plow Works plant

615 S. Marquette St.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:00 pm

A 116-year-old abandoned warehouse in Racine is being eyed for redevelopment into market rate and affordable housing as part of an ongoing plan by the city to revitalize a key part of the downtown area along the Root River.

615 S. Marquette St.
615 S. Marquette St.

General Capital has been selected to work with the city on a project at the former J.I. Case Plow Works plant, 615 S. Marquette St. The $18.4 million project could include 82 apartments that would be a mix of market and affordable units in the four-story building.

General Capital is also proposing a community garden, urban rain garden and 3,700 square feet of retail on the property.

Fox Point-based General Capital’s proposal was chosen by the city’s redevelopment authority on Nov. 21. following an RFP process to sell and redevelop the building.

Amy Connolly, director of the department of the city development, said that at this point, the city is only entering into negotiations with the developer and has not chosen to do this exact project.

“We will be working toward a development agreement with many months of due diligence ahead,” Connolly said.

Representatives from General Capital could not be reached for comment.

The city has been working for nearly a decade on Machinery Row, a $62 million mixed-use redevelopment project along the Root River in downtown Racine that stakeholders are hoping is the catalyst to spark development in the blighted area.

If successful, the project could bring 150 market rate apartments, a grocery store, dining, retail, outdoor event space and a 2.5-mile riverfront promenade to 20.5 acres of land.

The J.I. Case Plow Works plant is across the street from the proposed Machinery Row development and within the same tax increment  financing district.

Rendering of Machinery Row in Racine.
Rendering of Machinery Row in Racine.

The Machinery Row development is one of the first steps in Racine’s RootWorks river redevelopment plan, created by the city in 2012, to convert the neglected area of the city into a neighborhood similar to Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

The 325-acre Root River Corridor encompasses the area adjacent to the Root River bordered by Memorial Drive on the west, State Street to the north, Lake Michigan to the east and Eighth Street to the south.

The other projects targeted in the corridor include a Transit-Oriented Development District, Case New Holland’s downtown riverfront campus, the Belle Harbor District and the Walker Site Redevelopment.

All of the projects are in various stages of development.

The J.I. Case Plow Works plant was built in 1900 and sits in the heart of the Machinery Row development site.

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