Sheboygan tavern relocating to make way for FreshTech development efforts

Current location to be razed, redeveloped as part of innovation district

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A city-owned building on Michigan Avenue in Sheboygan will be the future home of a local tavern that is moving to make way for the FreshTech Innovation District.

Craft30, currently located 1015 S. 10th St., will move into the former Club Michigan building at 908 Michigan Ave. The move also represents an expansion from the bar’s current space, going from about 3,000 square feet to around 9,000 square feet, said Chad Pelishek, director of planning and development for the city of Sheboygan.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to move (Craft30) into a new location where they can continue to thrive in the community and expand their business,” Pelishek said.

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The building, constructed in 1893, will undergo some rehabilitation work. To assist with the move, the city is providing Craft30 with a $75,000 business development loan and potentially a $50,000 historic preservation façade grant, which is to be taken up on Wednesday by the Redevelopment Authority. Additionally, the planned renovation work will be considered by the Architectural Review Board when it meets next week.

The $75,000 forgivable loan, which was approved by the Redevelopment Authority in March, is tied to the creation of three full-time jobs.

The city acquired the commercial building in July 2018. Its former tenant, a strip club, closed about a year ago and the building has sat vacant since.

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Pelishek said the existing location of Craft30 will eventually be acquired and demolished by the city in order to make way for developments at the innovation district. He said the development at the site could include commercial or residential, or both.

Described as the first innovation community in the state, FreshTech is located south of downtown along Indiana Avenue and includes the 15-acre former Pentair property and areas along the Sheboygan River.

An innovation district is a small geographic area where entrepreneurs and universities can get together and share ideas and development opportunities for the market. As part of the overall district development, the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. plans to build a LaunchPad innovation hub at the former J.J. Koepsell Co. site, 1010 S. Ninth St.

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Craft30 is the only business that will be moved as a result of the innovation district development efforts, said Pelishek.

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