A multifamily developer has purchased 5 acres of vacant land in the 700 block of Sheridan Road (Highway 32), along Lake Michigan in Somers, and has already met with village officials to present ideas for a multifamily development on the site.
[caption id="attachment_372290" align="alignright" width="410"] An aerial view of the land in Somers along Lake Michigan that was recently purchased by developer David Wallach. Sheridan Road (Highway 32) is on the left side of the photo. (Credit: Kenosha County GIS)[/caption]
A pair of limited liability companies registered to David Wallach, chief executive officer of Blue Paint Development LLC and Kenosha-based manufacturer Wally Walls, recently purchased five neighboring lakefront parcels on Highway 32, also known as Sheridan Road, between Seventh and Eighth streets. The land was sold for $975,000, according to state records.
Wallach said that he is currently working with the village to get a feel for what they would like to see done at the site.
"Right now everything is preliminary," he said.
Bill Morris, administrator for the village and town of Somers, confirmed that the village has met with Wallach a couple of times about his development plans.
"(Wallach) showed us some very preliminary conceptuals for a multifamily project," Morris said, adding that village officials have provided him with feedback and potential concerns.
Those plans have shown buildings in the five- to seven-story range, said Morris, and though Wallach hasn't presented a specific number of units, Morris estimated something of this size would have 100 or more.
With what officials have seen so far, Morris said they have expressed two major concerns with the developer. First, they hope to see something that would differentiate the proposal from other multifamily projects in the region.
"We truly want to see not just a run-of-the-mill type of multifamily project that you see going up in southeast Wisconsin and even northern Illinois. ... It's got to be something that is truly a long-term positive architectural asset to the corridor," he said.
The second issue the village wants to avoid seeing is a large building surrounded by parking. Morris said officials would like to see something that "truly sets itself apart" with landscaping, berming and buffers, or perhaps concealed interior parking.
Morris noted the Sheridan Road corridor offers a lot of promise.
"It's a potential jewel that needs the appropriate polish," he said. "We have some pretty high expectations on what should go to the (village) board and be approved."
Just south of the newly acquired land is the neighboring Bluebird Motel, and to the north is the Seventh Place Overlook Park.
Wallach noted that over the last 20 years or so, he has primarily developed mid-rise residential projects, particularly in Chicago and Arizona. Projects he has worked on include the Summit at Copper Square, a 23-story, 165-unit condo high-rise across the street from Chase Field in Phoenix; 1001 Madison, a seven-story, 90-unit condo building in Chicago; and the Odyssey Lofts, an eight-story, 62-unit condo building on West Jackson Boulevard in Chicago.
Assuming specific development plans are eventually submitted to and approved by the village of Somers, it would mark the second major multifamily project that the village has seen since the economic recovery from the Great Recession.
Last year, Kenosha-based Bear Development completed the 280-unit Market Square Apartments project, which consists of 14 20-unit buildings near the corner of Highway 142 and Green Bay Road. Morris noted that project was originally pitched to be built over a period of three to 3 1/2 years, thought it was finished in half that time because of "overwhelming" response from the public.
Late last year the village approved a second phase of the project, which will add another 50 units. Morris said construction activity is already underway for that phase.