Major Rebuilding Project Proposed for Kenosha's Damaged Uptown

Nov. 13, 2020 4:40p; Updated at 7:10p re finances; Updated 11-14 with Michalski comments

(WGTD)---The Madison-based company that is proposing a multi-million dollar retail and housing development for Kenosha's battered uptown wants to avoid gentrification of the area, according to the alderman who represents the neighborhood. 

Gorman & Company is proposing to replace the strip retail center on the west side of 22nd Ave. with a four-story structure that would include retail and apartments.  A second structure--this one three stories tall--would also consist of retail and residential and would be built just west of the first building. That building would front 23rd Ave.

Some people who've posted on our Facebook page expressed concern that higher rents would force out existing businesses and residents.

Alder Jan Michalski says Gorman, as it puts together a financing package, will be going after tax credits to guard against that from happening. 

Details of the project, minus information on the financing end, were included in the Plan Commission's agenda packet for Thursday's regularly-scheduled meeting of the panel. Commissioners are expected to voice their initial thoughts.

In an email to WGTD, Michalski said he supports the Gorman project, hoping that it will lead to additional investment in the area, which was first hit by a major accidental fire then a series of arson fires in Kenosha's riots last summer.

Altogether, the Gorman proposal calls for a total of 108 apartments with underground parking. 

Gorman is the same company that rescued the former Elk's Club building in downtown Kenosha and turned it into a hotel with a full-service restaurant and bar.

Gorman is calling its new project, "Uptown Lofts."