PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A proposal to construct 300 upscale apartment units south of Highway 50 has cleared its first hurdle.
The village’s Plan Commission unanimously approved a conceptual plan for the development consisting of four zones, including multi-family units, senior housing and two areas for commercial businesses on 95 acres between 75th and 79th streets from 104th to 115th avenues.
Known as the River View neighborhood, the development is proposed by the Milwaukee-based Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc.
The plans were approved after three hours of presentations and deliberations on Jan. 27.
“We are very excited to share our plan, and a lot of it you’ve already seen with the River View development,” said Tony DeRosa, representative agent with Fiduciary.
During his presentation, DeRosa said the developers recognized the demand for multifamily units as the community is generating jobs disproportional to the amount of housing it currently has.
He said the development would attract “empty nesters, baby boomers and young professionals, such as doctors, nurses and law enforcement” to the community.
The first phase includes 12, 20-unit apartment complexes and four, 15-unit buildings on nearly 32 acres, for a total of 300 units, at 77th Street and to the south.
Known as the Seasons at River View, the buildings will contain a mix of 24 studio-style apartments, 128 one-bedroom apartments and 24 three-bedroom units. Depending on the size, they range in rent from $1,100 to $2,200 a month.
According to Jean Werbie-Harris, the village’s community development director, apartments will have open concept floor plans with 9-foot ceilings, spacious designer cabinets and counter tops, along with upgraded appliances.
The units come equipped with large walk-in closets, heating and cooling units, energy-efficient windows and full-sized washers and dryers.
They also come with a mix of attached and detached garages with off-street parking.
The project is expected to break ground by late fall.
Future phases include:
Housing for seniors, including 159 units and the potential for independent living, assisted living and memory care facilities on about 25 acres.
Two commercial development zones totaling nearly 218,000 square feet. The commercial zones would have a mixture of uses, such as retail, office or medical-related services.
He estimated annual consumer spending of $2.1 million would result from the development, along with a “significant increase in assessed value to the village to the tune of $100 million and projected tax revenues of $2 million.”
According to village officials, about 20 percent of the revenues would benefit Pleasant Prairie, with the remainder going to other taxing jurisdictions, such as the Kenosha Unified School district.
Challenges in the area
DeRosa said the development has not come without challenges.
“This is a property that has sat vacant for more than 40 years because of multiple ownerships, bankruptcies and wetland challenges,” he said.
Many of the dozen residents who spoke at the meeting, including those who live in the nearby Chateau Eau Plaines subdivision, expressed concerns about drainage and flooding.
According to developers, infrastructure improvements are expected to improve drainage by 50 to 75 percent.
“I think that the positive impact on stormwater improvements is more than we could have accomplished by anybody else,” Plan Commission member Mike Pollocoff said.
Resident Greg Bass wondered about the burden on the Des Plaines River due to development. Bass lives in the nearby River Oaks subdivision.
“Is it going to pour more water into the river?” he asked. “You can tell me that answer, then I’m on your side. If you can’t, I’m going to battle you all the way.”
Richard Pinter, who said he has seen developers come and go over the past 40 years, said he supports the proposal and has gained an appreciation for village staff who “protected us from all these fly-by-nights.”
“They kept on saying no, until somebody with some real financial backing ... came in with a really good plan,” he said.
“The village, the developers here, have finally taken a really good look at this ... and finally came up with something that’s going to work,” he said.
He encouraged the more than 30 people who attended the meeting to visit Drexel Ridge in Oak Creek, a Fiduciary development upon which proposed Seasons at River View is based. He called Drexel Ridge beautiful and classy, with its quiet environment and open space surrounding it.
“It’s as good as you’re going to get,” he said.
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