, the long-envisioned $65 million mixed-use redevelopment along the Root River in Racine, appears to finally be moving forward.
[caption id="attachment_133757" align="alignright" width="350"]
Rendering of Machinery Row in Racine.[/caption]
The city will hold a public hearing tonight on a proposal from Davenport, Iowa-based Financial District Properties, LLC to build 150 market rate apartments, a grocery store, dining, retail, outdoor event space and a riverfront promenade on 20.5 acres.
Before doing so, four properties at 712, 800, 900 and 1010 Water Street need to be rezoned, which City Administrator Tom Friedel said is "procedural." From there, the plan should move forward with construction on the project beginning this summer, Friedel said.
The project is the first step in Racine’s RootWorks river redevelopment plan
to convert the neglected area of the city into a neighborhood similar to Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.
“This is a project we have been working on for about seven years,” Friedel said. “In 2007, we identified the river corridor as an area that was underutilized. We’ve seen success in Milwaukee’s Third Ward with all of the old buildings and warehouses turned around. We thought, why not here?”
Two former historic J.I. Case warehouses, each built about 100 years ago and totaling 720,000 square feet, will remain on the site and be renovated as part of the project. A 440,000-square-foot building will be renovated into the apartments. The other building will house about 280,000 square feet of mixed use development. The project will also include a grocery store with space for a farmers’ market and a recreation facility.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is providing a $1 million redevelopment grant for the project and $9 million in historic preservation tax credits. The City of Racine is providing $7 million for infrastructure.