The Pritzker Archives & Memorial Park project has broken ground in the town of Somers.
The announcement comes after about a year of proposals and public hearings regarding the development of the 288 acres of land in Kenosha County.
The archives and memorial park will be completed in phases over a projected 10 years.
The first phase includes the military archives center and community green space. Within the archives center will be a 9,400-square-foot gallery center. The green space will include 7,440 feet of walking paths. The project will continue with the Midwest Firearms Education & Training Center and Cold War Veterans Memorial. The project is also planning for a building commercial archives storage, which will be built based on demand.
Less than 7% of the 288 acres will have buildings allowing for a majority of the property to be utilized as green space. Pepper/Riley Construction and TAWANI Property Development will begin construction in late October.
“The development of this project is critical for our economy,” Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO and Secretary Missy Hughes said in a press release. “Various communities in Wisconsin depend on tourism to bring revenue. Having a special project like this in a unique village and town like Somers gives us the opportunity to draw new visitors that will help our community prosper.”
The developers planned for an in-person groundbreaking that was then moved to a virtual celebration because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Putting the health and safety of our neighbors first, as well as regarding state and local COVID-19 safety protocols, we’ve transformed our previously planned in-person groundbreaking event into a virtual community celebration,” Pritzker Military Museum & Library president and CEO Rob Havers said in a press release. “It was important for us to find a way to share the vision for the PAMPC with the Village of Somers because their input on this project is vital and we want our new neighbors engaged every step of the way.”