New Superior development will offer retail, residential space
The Redevelopment Authority approved agreements for mixed-use development on East Second Street and Second Avenue East.
SUPERIOR — The site where the Days Inn once stood along East Second Street could soon be home to a new mixed-use development called Bluewater Flats.
Kaizen Companies plans to raze the remaining structure to develop about 83 market-rate apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space surrounded by parking on the site in the 100 block of East Second Street.
“It’s a nice project for that area,” said Jason Serck, economic development, port and planning director.
The Redevelopment Authority approved a development agreement with the company for the project on Wednesday, June 1. The project will be constructed within one of the city’s tax increment districts. Other projects developed in the district include the Hampton Inn and 320 North Apartments.
Because the new development is within the TIF district, the city will be able to offer about $1.5 million in incentives toward the $20 million project, paid out annually using property taxes generated from the project, Serck said.
“These guys are on the fast track,” Serck said. “We’ve been kind of working on this for the last six to nine months, and all of a sudden it’s like ‘Hey, we want to get moving on this.’”
Jim Toninato, president of Kaizen Companies, said he hopes to get the project underway this month with the goal of completing the retail space in about one year and the residential units in about 14 months.
“We have owned this piece of property for quite some time,” Toninato said. “We razed the old hotel in 2015 and then built the Hampton Inn on the site. The building that is currently there has been vacant for five, six years maybe … we plan on razing that building as soon as possible and we plan on building the retail in its place.”
He said the project will be similar to 320 North Apartments, built by P&R Properties, with the only difference being the retail space out front.
Despite limited advertising about the proposed project, Toninato said they’ve had good interest in leasing the retail space.
The residential units will consist of 50 single units and 33 double units that will be offered at market rate.
“We haven’t dipped our toes in that market quite yet, but I know that building and the views in the front of that building are going to be fantastic,” Toninato said. “We do plan to have an amenity deck over the retail space … for the tenants.”
The front of the building and retail space will face East Second Street and the waterfront.
Redevelopment Authority chair Ann Porter questioned what would be done to improve pedestrian safety in the area. She said working for LHB, which has offices across the highway from site, employees have seen many accidents in the area.
Paine said he’s in support of flashing lights controlled by pedestrians in the area and brighter paint at the crosswalks so pedestrians can cross safely.
The city plans to widen the sidewalk to the lights at the intersection of the highway to Belknap Street in 2023 to encourage pedestrians to use the lights to cross to parks and trails on the other side of the highway, Serck said.
“This is very good for Superior,” said Sakib Mahmud, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior who was recently appointed to Redevelopment Authority board.
The council will consider a cooperation agreement with the Redevelopment Authority to facilitate the development when it meets Tuesday, June 7.