Brindisi Towers to return to Plan Commission

Brindisi Towers to return to Plan Commission

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Brindisi Towers, the proposed high-end apartment/condominium complex planned for Kenosha’s lakefront, will return to the city’s Plan Commission on Thursday.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 625 52nd St.

The 134-unit, mixed-use development is slated for a 1.6-acre parcel located directly north of the Kenosha Municipal Building on 52nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues.

The Brindisi Towers includes an 11-story apartment structure on the north, 10-story condo building on the south and a fourth-floor grass terrace between the two towers.

The terrace features a clubhouse with kitchen, party space, outdoor grills, seating areas with fire pits, patios and a dog walk area.

The lower levels include more than 300 enclosed parking spots and commercial space with plans for a high-end restaurant and public health club.

In October, the proposal met with scrutiny from the commission.

A zoning ordinance amendment, approved by the City Council on Nov. 18, will allow the building to be 133 feet tall. Before the amendment was approved, structures were limited to 100 feet.

However, at the Plan Commission’s Oct. 24 meeting, Ald. Jan Michalski said he didn’t “feel comfortable” with the building, saying, “Do we really want our downtown to look like Milwaukee or Chicago?”

In a letter to the commission, Joseph Chrnelich, president of Milwaukee-based ARD Inc., which is developing the project, provided responses to a number of concerns raised by the commission.

He noted that the plan has been altered to include access from the eastern side of the building.

However, a concern raised by Commissioner Lydia Spottswood about having elevators at the east and west ends of the condo tower “would add substantial building costs and complexity to the structural system of the building,” Chrnelich wrote. “This change would also cause a significant negative impact on the current condo unit layouts and efficiencies.”

As far as the size and style of the balconies, also questioned by Spottswood, Chrnelich said “the design team is evaluating the structural system capabilities for deeper and/or wider balconies at specific condo units.”

Chrnelich wrote that the proposed “Juliet balconies” — very small balconies which extend only a few feet beyond the building wall — would “create a unique living environment, not typically seen in high-rise condo residences.”

He also said the smaller balconies would make the building more energy efficient.

The development fits with the city’s proposed $400 million Downtown Vision Project, which calls for high-rise housing in the downtown area.

“The Brindisi Towers are being built to begin addressing the significant void of mid- to high-end residential housing throughout Kenosha County,” Chrnelich wrote in a separate letter. “Our research and other reports clearly and convincingly show a strong and urgent demand for this level of quality residential housing.”

Chrnelich says his company has “full confidence” that the project would be a “great success” and “a catalyst springboard for the entire Downtown Kenosha Redevelopment Vision Plan.”

“It will be the first signal to the southeast corridor communities, businesses and greater Chicago area that Kenosha has begun to emerge as the ‘premier community of choice’ moving toward the 21st century.”

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