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Big Redevelopment Project Proposed for Downtown Kenosha

Updated  8-10 to reflect Plan Commission action and developer's comments. 

Kenosha---The restaurateur who plans to turn a vacant downtown building into a boutique hotel with dining and banquet space says he plans to make it a showcase development.

"We believe it'll be a huge gem," said Paul Campagna shortly after the Kenosha Plan Commission voted unanimously Thursday evening to grant a conditional use permit.

"I think this will definitely be something that the town will be proud of," Campagna told reporters. "As we do with all of our projects... we try to put every thing we have into them," he said.

Campagna's LLC already operates The Buzz, Sazzy B and The Garage. 

Campagna is in the process of gutting the two-story building at 614 56th St. that's been vacant for some 20 years.

Plans call for a 1st floor bar and restaurant area with an open kitchen concept that'll seat 150. A mezzanine will include additional tables and a small bar big enough for another 100. 

Banquet space will fill the lower level while terrace seating will be available on top of the building. 

Plans for the second floor call for a half-dozen hotel suites of varying sizes with "higher-end finishes." A small lobby for hotel guests will be included on the first floor. 

All of the floors will be connected by an elevator, according documents that were presented to the commission. 

Campagna's proposal comes as Gorman & Co. has begun work to turn the old Elk's Club building a couple blocks away into a hotel and restaurant with meeting facilities.

In addition, a Chicago developer has proposed to add hotel rooms to the second floor of the Chase Bank building which is located just east of Campagna's development. Those plans have yet to receive commission approval. 

Campagna said a timetable for completing his project has yet to be set.