The Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood, Inc. announced that it has named longtime Milwaukee area commercial real estate executive Jerry Franke as the organization’s first executive director.
Franke was the president of WISPARK LLC, the real estate development subsidiary of Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, from 1988 to 2017. WISPARK did a significant amount of development in Kenosha County under Franke’s leadership.
The Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood is the master planned redevelopment of the 107-acre former American Motors Corp. and Chrysler plant site, located east of 30th Avenue between 52nd Street and 60th Street in Kenosha. Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood, Inc. is a non-profit organization led by a board of community, education, business and government partners to lead the project. The goal is to create a mixed-use neighborhood with office space, health care, educational institutions, commercial, residential and recreational space. Construction began recently on a new home for LakeView Technology Academy, a science, engineering, technology and math-focused high school, part of the Kenosha Unified School District, currently located in Pleasant Prairie.
“I look forward to working with KIN and the community to begin the development process for the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood,” said Franke. “The project is both a significant challenge and an outstanding opportunity. This site was part of Kenosha’s industrial legacy and through proper development can be a key part of its future. It is not unlike my first project in the Kenosha community 35 years ago when I was hired by WISPARK to begin development of LakeView Corporate Park. Undertaking projects like KIN requires a team effort consisting of elected officials, business leaders, development professionals and engaged residents. I look forward to being part of the team.”
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