WEDC: Kenosha County receives $250,000 state grant to help fund downtown redevelopment project

Assistance from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will support renovation of historic YMCA building

MADISON, WI. July 22, 2015 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Kenosha County to help fund the conversion of a historic YMCA building in downtown Kenosha into apartments.

The redevelopment project will not only fill a need for more affordable housing downtown, but will add more than $1 million to the city’s tax base and is expected to spur more downtown development.

The Community Development Investment Grant will fill the remaining financial gap in the $12.3 million project to transform the landmark YMCA—which was built in 1929 and is now vacant—into a 46-unit apartment building in the heart of Kenosha’s Library Park Historic District.

“This project is a key part of Kenosha’s downtown revitalization plan, and WEDC is pleased to be able to support it,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “A vibrant downtown is critical to the overall economic health of a community, and we believe the restoration of this historic building will attract more residents, more business and more jobs to downtown.”

“Kenosha County is a big supporter of the downtown revitalization effort and applauds the investment from the WEDC in this important project,” said County Executive Jim Kreuser. “We believe that this project is another step forward for downtown Kenosha.”

WEDC also has authorized up to $1.994 million in state historic tax credits for the project, a move that will leverage private investment to preserve the property’s historic materials and significance.

In addition to the assistance from WEDC, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is providing $5.1 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for the project over the next 10 years.

The redevelopment also is being supported by $300,000 in Tax Incremental Financing from the City of Kenosha.

“It’s exciting to see a great project in such a historic structure,” said Downtown Kenosha Executive Director Christopher Naumann. “This residential project will bolster the character and ambiance of downtown and offer those interested in an urban lifestyle a much desired option.”

WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts—primarily in downtown areas—throughout the state. Awards for the competitive program were based on based on the ability to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.

Construction is expected to start this fall on the Residences at Library Park apartments. Developer David Nankin plans to renovate the building into 30 units of affordable housing and 16 units of market rate housing.


About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.