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Pleasant Prairie hires design firm for Village Green

Pleasant Prairie hires design firm for Village Green


Poster boards explaining the focus of the eight different subcommittees that will help with the planning of the various aspects of the Village Green Center project lined the outside of the room during a meeting in January in Pleasant Prairie. A design firm for the project was hired Monday night.

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Master planning and development coordination for Village Green Center will be underway in the next few weeks.

The Village Board voted 5-0 Monday night to approve a $257,500 contract with Rinka, a Milwaukee-based architectural firm and design collective that will be designing the village’s long-awaited downtown community hub.

Conceptual planning for Village Green was facilitated over a seven-month period with collaboration from about 60 community members. Those involved focused on eight integral themes to create a common vision for the future downtown.

In late July, Designing Downtown Pleasant Prairie unveiled its plan that envisions areas for an outdoor amphitheater, specialty food shops, restaurants, a microbrewery and even a rooftop garden and community kitchen, along with an “ArtPlex.”

The design considers accessible transportation whether on foot, on bike or by motorized vehicles. Housing, including condos and townhomes surrounding the downtown to loft apartments above commercial spaces, were also incorporated.

Village Green Center contains property roughly bounded by 97th Street, 39th Avenue, Highway 165 and 47th Avenue.

The project, which has been in the works the last 25 years, was always intended as a central destination area for the village to foster a sense of community identity.

The project area covers about 188 acres centered at the intersection of Highway 165 and 39th Avenue. Of the total acres, about 121 are undeveloped, 42 acres are developed, and the remaining 25 acres are part of the right of way within the area. The village owns 96 acres, while the rest of the land is privately owned.

Two firms considered

Rinka was one of two firms considered by the community collaboration subcommittee and village staff following requests for qualifications sent to more than 40 firms in July. The other firm considered was Bear Development, according to a memo to the Village Board from Administrator Nathan Thiel.

According to the contract with Rinka, the firm will develop a master plan for the downtown and documentation for zoning while providing coordination of master development services.

The firm has worked on notable design plans within the state, such as Oak Creek’s Drexel Town Square and La Crosse’s Riverside North, a development after which Village Green’s development process, with its multiple elements, will be patterned.

The process is expected to take about seven to nine months and will include two open house presentations to the public.

Steve Morales, Rinka partner and representative, said the firm was “very fortunate” to have had the chance to review the conceptual planning work from the community collaboration and its subcommittees.

“It was a very ambitious plan. I think there’s lot of great ideas there that ... truly made sense and (were) authentic to Pleasant Prairie,” Morales said. “I think you guys are far ahead with what other municipalities have done. ... I think there were a lot of great ideas brought together by the committees.”


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