Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:21 pm
Plan seeks to protect scenery while capitalizing on I-43’s opportunities
According to Bill Holden of Bay Lakes Regional Planning, the exchanges off of I-43 are the most likely to see increased development activity in future years. The agency has engaged in studies to help ensure that this development happens in a well-ordered way.
"One of our concerns is that those interchanges are developed for the highest and best use," Holden said. "In the future, the I-43 corridor should be looked at from Milwaukee to Green Bay in terms of a comprehensive system economic development perspective and then from a corridor-preservation perspective. The core has scenic values that should be preserved while at the same time taking advantage of the economic opportunities."
Sheboygan County, with help from consulting engineers HNTB, prepared an overlay district plan that would protect views along the corridor and allow some uniformity for sign and building setbacks.
In order for the plan to have an effect, "towns, villages and cities must adopt it," Holden said. "The plan covers elements of aesthetics and design – we still need to look at how the issue of Smart Growth will affect the adoption process. However this plan is certainly a tool municipalities and towns could use as far as developing their Smart Growth Plan when it comes to controlling development along I-43."
According to Dee Olsen, Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce executive director, one major development is taking place right now on I-43 and Highway 28 in Kohler.
"The development is anchored by Home Depot, whose store is nearing completion. There will be space for nine other retail establishments. Home Depot owns the project," Olsen said.
Other development activity includes redevelopment work in the city of Sheboygan, according to Olsen.
"The Kress Hertel building, which is downtown on 8th Street, is being remodeled. It’s a turn-of-the-century building being re-established as a commercial property," she said. "When it is completed, it will be a combination of office and retail space. Another redevelopment project is the former Garton Toy Factory, which is being turned into apartments -with potential for commercial development nearby."
At highways 28 and 0, the Washington Square complex is currently under construction.
"This will be a large shopping complex," Olsen said. "A Walgreen’s opened this summer and Piggly Wiggly announced construction, and began moving dirt before the frost set in."
Tom Schaeffer Bayside Development, Milwaukee is brokering the property.
Schaeffer is also developer on the Nemschoff Building, currently under construction.
"The second story will be headquarters for Nemschoff Furniture," Olsen said. "Security Travel will be on the main floor. There will be additional retail/commercial space on the main floor."
Lakeside development pending
An important pending project, according to Olsen, is the redevelopment of the C. Reiss Coal Co. property on the lakefront. The City of Sheboygan is working toward acquisition of the land, which is located in a TIF district.
"Right now we’re trying to purchase the property – which has been for sale for five years," Jackie Jarvis of the City Development Department said. "It has been unused for 10 years. It was formerly a coal, fertilizer and petroleum storage site and is 50 acres in size. There has been no sale, but while we work in acquisition, we’ve been talking to developers about some commercial development, some residential and some retail. In the end, it will be a multi-use development. We’re hoping that the value of the property when project completed will be $30 million to $50 million. We don’t have a developer selected at this point. We’re still looking for the company to work with."
While infrastructure and site remediation will be issues, the city is willing to invest in the property to see it used at its highest potential, Jarvis said.
"There have been a lot of developers looking at the property, but there is a good deal of infrastructure work that must be undertaken. It is in a TIF district, but the carrying cost of such a large property could be scaring people off. There is some contamination, but it is not as badly contaminated as one would think considering its past use over 100 years. There are a few hot spots dealing with petroleum and chloride."
The city would like to complete a development agreement by the end of 2001, Jarvis said, and have the project completed by 2004 for the PGA Tour stop at Whistling Straits.
"There will probably be a hotel on the site," Jarvis said. "This will provide opportunity for people living and working downtown, increase the vitality of our downtown and marina area, and make us more of a destination city."