Summer opening expected at River Shores
Development started in ’04, 3 years after company closes

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

Nov. 6, 2014

WEST BEND - One former manufacturing plant in West Bend will reopen next summer as a residential and retail complex in the River Shores Development downtown with a second building scheduled to reopen in 2016.

Renovations estimated at $10 million started in the summer of 2013 on the vacant manufacturing plants at the defunct West Bend Co., gutting the buildings and re-creating them into apartments and indoor heated parking and retail space.

The larger building on Veterans Avenue, with 56 apartments on the upper floors and 23,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor should be available for lease mid- to late-summer 2015, Dan Barkes said Wednesday night.

Barkes is vice president of asset management for Hendricks Commercial Properties, Beloit, which owns Riverbend Development LLC. Riverbend Development is managing the River Shores project.

The second building, northeast of the Veterans Avenue structure, should be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2016, Barkes said. That building will have 36 residential units.

“It’s a positive investment for the city,” River Shores Lofts Condominium Association Board Secretary Karl Schultz said Wednesday night. “In general, all of us feel it’s great that the developer continues to make an investment in River Shores. “That is a significant statement.”

The $92 million, 38-acre River Shores Development started in 2004, three years after the West Bend Co. closed, in the city’s Tax Incremental Financing District 10 with ambitious plans to turn the industrial site into a thriving riverfront village of condominiums and retail shops in the center of the city.

Two buildings were renovated: The Point Condominiums in the former West Bend Co. headquarters on the west bend of the Milwaukee River and The Lofts, retail and residential units, before the project stalled with the recession of 2007-08.

Townhouses were built as was a separate apartment building for seniors.

A change in ownership and prodding by city officials in the past two years got the project moving again.

Riverbend Development will start taking names of potential tenants for the apartments and commercial space starting this winter, he said.

Wednesday, the West Bend Plan Commission approved:

■ The site plan, a certified survey map and a partial street vacation to allow for the construction of a 1.4-acre parking lot in River Shores. That lot will be constructed in 2016 in conjunction with the opening the second renovated residential building, Barkes said.

■ A conditional use permit allowing Barton Ink, a tattoo and body piercing business, to move from 1747 Barton Ave. to 156 N. Main St., downtown.

■ An oversize LED sign for Culver’s of West Bend on 2350 W. Washington St.

■ An increase of a 1-acre lot to 2.4 acres to a parcel Maple Road in the town of Trenton.