BELOIT- The City of Beloit has been awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that will go towards the demolition of a building and expanding the Riverwalk downtown.
The City of Beloit plans to demolish the vacant building at 80-100 East Grand Avenue and expand the Riverwalk. The building formerly housed Kerry Inc. and Fat Wallet/Ebates.
The DNR has told the city that the 11,380-square-foot structure must be removed by 2042. A portion of the building overhangs the Rock River, and there are environmental concerns because of how the building is situated and the age of the building.
The building is owned by Hendricks Commercial Properties and East Grand Development LLC (a Hendricks company), intends to build a four-story, 48,000-square-foot building that could include a restaurant, offices as well as residential and commercial use space.
An extension to the Riverwalk would connect the existing Beloit Riverwalk system to the segment behind First National Bank and Trust southwest along the Rock River.
The demolition and reconstruction of the building and the Riverwalk extension represents a $16—$20 million investment in downtown Beloit.
“The city is leading the demolition and Riverwalk portion of the project,” said Sarah Lock, Beloit director of strategic communications. “The demolition and Riverwalk project will be funded by the Wisconsin DNR grants plus the local match provided by the developer. The developer will be responsible for the costs to construct their building. No local City of Beloit tax dollars are being used in the project.”
The DNR announced on Tuesday that Beloit will be receiving up to $1,101,600 from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program for the development of a segment of the city’s downtown Riverwalk.
The Joint Committee on Finance in Madison reviewed the request for the grant and raised no objections.
“We are thankful to the Wisconsin DNR and the Joint Committee on Finance who recognized this need for our community,” said Regina Dunkin, President of the Beloit City Council. “This project will truly enhance the outstanding progress and build on the momentum that our downtown has seen over the last ten years. A blighted building will be removed due to environmental concerns and the entire community will be able to use the vibrant Riverwalk space when it is built.”
In addition to the Knowles-Nelson Grant, the city will receive a $495,000 Municipal Flood Control Grant from the Wisconsin DNR to assist with the project.
A required local match to both grants will be provided by the developer. The project was expected to begin in 2023, if the grant money was approved, according to a joint press release between Beloit and Hendricks Commercial Properties.
“The City of Beloit has not yet issued any request for proposals for the demolition of the building and/or the Riverwalk portion of the project,” Lock said. “We are evaluating options to determine how the project will go to bid; it could be one request for proposal or multiple proposals. I expect it to go to bid in early 2023 but I do not yet have a timeline.”