The project will be released for bidding within the next few weeks.
There are two exciting components to this project. First, the station will be getting an interior and exterior rehab and reconfiguration. Since the 1890-era building is located near the Pearl Street Historic District, the exterior work will focus on historic renovations.
Interior work will involve shifting the existing restaurant within the structure to the south end, thereby creating two spaces: one for the restaurant and another for a ticket sales counter and commuter waiting area on the north end.
The project also involves updating the restrooms and constructing a storage area.
The second component is the lease and operation of the restaurant. An opportunity to run a business in a busy commuter station is not offered often. It is estimated that about 800 commuters travel daily on the METRA Union Pacific/North Line to Chicago.
Presently, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Kenosha is requesting proposals for the operation of the coffee shop/restaurant, leasehold improvements and to maintain non-restaurant areas.
Requests for proposals have been sent to several prospective operators, including the present restaurant operator. The proposals are due at 4 p.m. May 3, with contract negotiations completed by June 1.
The restaurant space will be offered in “white box” form for tenant completion. The entire building is about 2,052 square feet.
Keith Barber is a data reporter with The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (414) 225-1821.