MOUNT PLEASANT — Milwaukee-based Blue Ribbon Management is planning to build a five-story, approximately 80-unit apartment building here in anticipation of Foxconn creating more demand for housing.
With the huge manufacturing campus Foxconn Technology Group plans to build in the southwestern corner of Mount Pleasant, the company is projecting to create 10,000 construction jobs, up to 13,000 Foxconn jobs and thousands more indirect jobs.
Blue Ribbon Management has applied for a rezoning of 3.4 acres of vacant land at the northeastern corner of Highway 20 and South Fancher Road (Highway H), from business park zoning to multifamily. The request goes to the Mount Pleasant Plan Commission on Wednesday with a staff recommendation of approval.
“The village lacks the modern, market-rate multifamily housing built in nearby communities, and upcoming development trends may exacerbate this lack of supply,” Mount Pleasant Planner Robin Palm wrote in the staff recommendation for the requested rezoning.
Pending approvals, Blue Ribbon would construct an approximately 150,000-square-foot building of market-rate apartments on floors two through five. The initial concept is for all two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments, said company Executive Vice President Michael Kelly.
Amenities would include indoor parking on the first floor, a fitness center, a party/meeting room and an outdoor swimming pool north of the building. Kelly explained that the residential multifamily zoning requires most parking to be inside or underground.
Kelly said he doesn’t yet have a cost estimate for the project.
Blue Ribbon and its affiliated entities have been responsible for more than $85 million in real estate development and financing projects in the past seven years, according to a Nov. 13 letter from Kelly to the Village of Mount Pleasant. The company’s portfolio includes residential, office, retail and hospitality properties.
In his letter, Kelly laid out the company’s reasons for seeking the rezoning so it can proceed with its planned development.
“First and foremost, there is a projected growth in the Mount Pleasant workforce,” Kelly wrote. “Considering the current supply, there is a significant shortage of modern multifamily housing options available. The timeline for construction would put this project just ahead of the curve to help fill the vital need for modern housing.”
Kelly said Foxconn is one of the drivers for the proposed apartment project.
“We haven’t seen a lot of quality, multifamily projects in some time,” Village President Dave DeGroot said.
Referring to the Foxconn effect, DeGroot added: “I think we’re seeing the first example of the market reacting to the influx of folks who will be living and working in Mount Pleasant.”
Blue Ribbon proposes a residential building with no retail component in the project, Kelly wrote.
“The absence of a retail component in our plan will help maintain the residential look and feel for the surrounding homeowners,” he wrote. “It is our intention to be good neighbors and create state-of-the-art housing for the community.”
Kelly said it is too early to know when construction would begin.
One selling point he made in his letter was that the pending project is “within walking distance of the Amtrak station, the only mass transit option available in the area.”
However, if those future apartment dwellers are to reach the Amtrak station by foot, that would require some investment. Neither the north (Mount Pleasant) side of Highway 20, nor the south (Sturtevant) side, currently have sidewalks, Mount Pleasant Community Development Director Sam Schultz said.
Also, a pedestrian crossing would have to be created at Highway H, likely with a longer red traffic light, Schultz said.