SHEBOYGAN — A three-story apartment building is being proposed for a vacant lot on Sheboygan’s south side.
Preliminary plans call for a single 48-unit building to be built at the southeast corner of South 14th Street and Illinois Avenue in the Sheridan Park neighborhood. The developer says these will be affordable apartments but did not elaborate on pricing. Currently, the land is vacant after the shuttered Mad Max gas station was demolished in early 2020. It was formerly a Q-Mart gas station before being sold to a Saukville-based company which then operated the station under the Mad Max name.
City officials say this proposed development will address the need for affordable housing in Sheboygan. There is no word when construction could start but the City of Sheboygan and the developer are working to have the land properly rezoned. The project will need to be awarded the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit before dirt moves.
Chad Pelishek, the city’s Director of Planning & Development, said work on the $12 million project could start as soon as early next year.
Just a half mile down the street to south, a massive $45 million apartment complex has been under construction since October 2020. When completed, the Oscar Apartments will consist of three four-story buildings, totaling 235,000-square-feet and 240 units. Future residents will have access to unique amenities such as a 60 conditioned subsurface parking spaces beneath all buildings, two playgrounds, a dog wash and a fitness center.
Property was the center of controversy
Property directly east of the former gas station was the center of controversy.
In 1998, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club requested to rezone the property at 1317 Illinois Avenue from industrial to residential zoning. City officials at the time said the Outlaws’ intended purpose for the building was inconsistent with the city’s development plan. “I think we’re asking for problems,” said then Police Chief William Eichmann. “There’s a history of problems with the Outlaws.” Eichmann cited years of gang warfare with other motorcycle clubs and acts of violence for reasons why the club should not be granted the rezoning request.
The city’s Plan Commission denied the request.
The building had been occupied by Grasse Bros. Oil Company.
After the building was demolished, the vacant land would later be owned by Sheboygan-based Quality State Oil Company which also owned the Q-Mart next door. A home located further east was also demolished in 2019 but that land is not part of proposal.
10 projects built since 2016
Since 2016, the City of Sheboygan has seen the addition of over 700 apartment units with nine projects built. The tenth, the Oscar Apartments, will add 240 units and bring the total to just shy of 1,000 units when the project is completed in early next year.
Pricing for those recently built units start around $805 at the Washington School Apartments with the most expensive rental units being around $1,700 at 7Penn Apartments which has 100% occupancy. Despite this, city officials say there is still need for more apartments and are looking for ways to create more affordable housing options in Sheboygan.