Robust year for Beloit's development

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BELOIT - Development in Beloit remained steady this year, with officials touting the upcoming opening and construction of major projects in the city as a strong sign of economic health.

On Wednesday, the Beloit Daily News sat down with Building and Planning Services Director Drew Pennington to check in with ongoing projects.

As of Sept. 1, 533 permits for construction and renovation had been issued by the city, with a total construction value of $14.8 million. Pennington said the figure will "nearly double" by the end of the year due to the G-5 Brewing Company's planned brewery/restaurant and two new hotel projects in the Milwaukee Road corridor.

Key developments:

Stateline Family YMCA, Beloit College's Powerhouse project and the G5 Brewing Company's brewery.

• Stateline Family YMCA: The $11 million project to overhaul a large portion of the former Beloit Corporation building in the Ironworks complex along the riverfront will wrap up today, with the YMCA officially opening at the new location. Beloit's current YMCA serves around 16,000 individuals, and officials are projecting a 20 percent increase in membership.

"It's a transformational project because it will make downtown a family activity center," Pennington said. "It's going to benefit the entire downtown area."

Some have questioned whether parking would be an issue at the Ironworks campus, but Pennington said the city has ample parking available in the vicinity of downtown. The claim was backed up by a Metropolitan Planning Organization study that concluded the city had ample parking space, but needed to increase visibility of the available spaces.

• Powerhouse: The $38 million project to revamp the former Alliant Energy plant on Riverside Drive is beginning to see movement. Site plans are expected by the end of the year, and discussions between the city and Beloit College officials are underway to determine final designs. The project is still planning to include the fieldhouse addition, along with a pedestrian walkway from campus over Riverside Drive to the complex. The project was also recently awarded historic status by the national and state Register of Historic Places, making the project eligible for future historic tax credits.

• G5 Brewing: Site plans for the Gateway Business District brewery were submitted to Pennington's office, with final review expected in the coming weeks. The brewery could technically begin construction, but Pennington estimated most construction would wait until next year on a 6- to 8-month timeline with a spring 2018 opening.

"That's another transformational project," he said. "It's the first entertainment-oriented use out in the Gateway (Business District). It's diversifying the land use."

Hotel development

• Holiday Inn Express: Revised site plans for the 6-story, 124-room hotel at 3022 Ford Street were submitted in August, with site work underway. Demolition work has also started.

• Home2Suites by Hilton extended stay hotel: Site work and grading are underway, with the 102-room hotel to be located adjacent to the Hampton Inn on Reynolds Drive.

Both hotels are in the process of drafting architectural plans, with similar timelines hoping to open both hotels next spring, Pennington said.

Residential development

The city has accepted plans for two projects that could see 52 single-family homes built, with 100 apartment units between two developments also underway. All developments have had applications and site plans reviewed by the city, with rolling openings set for units into next spring.

• Eagle's Ridge: The subdivision development is currently set to build homes before the ground freezes, with phase three of the project, extending the drive in the area, set to get underway later this month. New Leaf Homes, said 22 lots are planned for construction and six homes will be added on Raven Court. Last year, the city sold two acres of land to start the project.

• The Oaks: Twenty-four lots are planned for construction at two cul du sacs oriented end-to-end with residential connections set to be built.

• Kadlec apartments: 42 condominium units will be added to the area that has already seen previous construction. The developer indicated to the city the units would be rented to tenants. The new units will be occupied after construction wraps up next year.

• Hawk's Ridge: Fifty-eight apartments will be added to the development on Gateway Boulevard, with foundation work underway. The project is set to finish construction next spring.

Other development

Menards: The hardware and home appliance store is adding to the covered lumber yard and renovating its garden center.

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