The Village Board has approved the zoning change clearing the way for the Pritzker Military Archives project to move forward. The vote took place at the Nov. 12 Village Board Meeting and was unanimous. The motion includes all the stipulations below:

1. Conditional approval of a comprehensive plan amendment which would be subject to the execution of a development agreement (see No. 3, below) with the understanding that such approval would be revoked if the developer and the Village do not execute such a development agreement.

2. Conditional approval of rezoning which would be subject to the execution of a development agreement (see no. 3, below) with the understanding that such approval would be revoked if the developer and the Village do not execute such a development agreement.

3. Execution of a development agreement which would include the following provisions:

a. Developer is responsible for paying the full costs for the design and construction of a sanitary sewer system and municipal water system.

b. Construction of all buildings shall be subject to the development agreement and will require final design review by Village staff for compliance with photo metrics, landscaping, building design standards, and similar requirements, as prescribed by Village ordinance.

c. The developer shall be financially responsible for all internal and external roads or traffic improvements required by Village ordinance or Kenosha County.

d. A permanent prohibition on outdoor shooting ranges/sporting clays ranges located on any portion of the property.

e. A recapture provision allowing the developer to recover a pro-rata portion of the costs paid by the developer for the extension of municipal sanitary sewer and/or municipal water for benefitted properties not owned by the developer and identified by the Village Engineer.  Such recapture shall include a repayment of all special assessments for such public improvements against benefitted properties to the developer and, in the event that the developer is not fully reimbursed for benefitted properties other than those owned by the developer, then on September 1, 2032, the developer shall be reimbursed for the remaining funds to which developer is entitled and any remaining special assessments will be reassigned to the Village.

f. The developer shall pay all normal and customary building fees and make a voluntary payment in lieu of impact fees.

g. Subject to compliance with final recommendations from the Kenosha County Department of Zoning and development (the Village contract zoning administrators) and recommendations from the Village Engineer.

Members of the public presented their concerns to the board and Trustees addressed the public before the vote.

Trustee Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson was last to speak and echoed the feeling from other members of the board saying she believes the project will be a benefit to Somers taxpayers as well as the entire community by providing diverse development in the area.

“There’s a history and education element that adds culture to Somers,” she said. “The significant amount of green space is an environmental positive. Something a warehouse development would never give us.”

The mission of the Pritzker Military Archives is to preserve the artifacts relating to the citizen soldier.
Besides the Pritzker Military Archives, the project will include an indoor Firearms Education and Training Center (FETC), a memorial dedicated to those who served in the Cold War, community green space and commercial archives. The development is planned to take about 10 years until full completion and will be done in three phases.

  • Phase one of the 288-acre project will include the archives, workspace and gallery center. Construction of green space, including bike and walking paths and picnic areas will also be part of that phase. It should be concluding within three years.
  • Phase two, which should be concluded within five years, includes the Cold War Memorial and the commercial archives.
  • The FETC will be built in the third phase of the project, which should tentatively be concluded within ten years.

Of the total acreage, 105 is unbuildable. The developer will be seeking tax exemption for ten acres.

A conservative preliminary estimate from the village concludes that Somers will receive just over $360,000 in increased tax revenue every year once the project is complete and TID 6 is retired.

The village will benefit from the project paying the upfront cost of about $14,000,000 to bring sewer and water to the property, allowing for neighboring properties to be developed in the future and became more valuable and add to tax revenue for Somers.