Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood input session held in Uptown

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KENOSHA ⏤ Tuesday evening, Smith Group and the city of Kenosha held an input session with the community on the design of the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood near Uptown.

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The session, held at the former Brown Bank Building at 2216 63rd St., started at 5 p.m.

KIN info session setup

A walk through the input session the city of Kenosha and Smith Group held at the former Brown Bank Building on 63rd Street in Uptown Tuesday. Video property of Daniel Thompson/The Uptown Observer.

Inside the building, residents were given green dot stickers that they were to use as they made their way counterclockwise around the room. 

Along their walk, they first were given a recap of the last session by Tom Rogers of Smith Group. After, they continued through several stations where they were to place a dot on an image aligning with what they’d like to see most in the different spheres of the development.

Those spheres include: Lifestyle, Culture, Neighborhooding (a made-up term, Smith Group admits), Relationships, Economic Outcomes and Streetlife. 

According to a display, participants in the prior session ranked the following highest in each category:

  • Lifestyle: Public safety;
  • Culture: Cultural programming;
  • Neighborhooding: Open Space + Green Space;
  • Economic Outcomes: Tie between employment opportunities and commercial development;
  • And Streetlife: Walkable + bikeable

Smith Group presentation on Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood

After a short while, Rogers began a presentation explaining the goals of the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood Project ⏤ one that has been mired in serious concerns over the gentrification of Uptown. 

Tuesday, Rogers states that “the goal of the development overall is to help foster job growth.”

“It’s to create an innovation center that does both employment and training, and pushes those two things together,” Rogers told a woman at the first station who expressed concerns over job opportunities. 

You can watch Rogers’ full presentation below.

Smith Group displays three neighborhood concepts

Along the west wall of the building closer to the entrance, three displays stood out. Each contained a vague concept of how the different spheres mentioned above would fit into the space. 

Likewise, the concepts place and connect traffic through the site differently. 

For example, Rogers said, one concept completely abandons the grid model of layout and connects 56th Street to 52nd Street through a potential boulevard. 

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St. Peter emphasizes community input on concepts

Project manager for the city Ed St. Peter made sure those in attendance knew how important their input was, especially pertaining to the concepts. 

“Last thing (Rogers) put up were those concepts. Please, please note your preference. It’s really important, because the flow of traffic through this site is critical. And we want to know what you think.

So don’t think there’s some predetermined plan, because there’s not.” 

KIN City Project Manager Ed St. Peter

“I mean, when he showed us (Concept 3) with the curved road, that was something we had never even thought of. So please, make sure you hit those.”

Those who still wish to give the city and Smith Group feedback on the information presented can do so at

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