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Village Board OKs Siena Center Demo, But Key Approvals Still Needed

Siena Partners, a partnership between the Racine Dominicans and Lincoln Lutheran, presented three building phases with a total construction cost of $35 million, but none of them got approved last night by the Village Board.

The Village Board approved the demolition of six buildings connected to the current at their meeting last night.

Officials with Siena Partners, a partnership between the and , presented three phases to the Plan Commission meeting Wednesday, but only the first phase was approved for recommendation. But Board members said they didn’t feel comfortable with moving forward with the project until they got the reports.

During the meeting, Elaine Ekes, the village attorney, said she had a memorandum of understanding between Siena Partners and the Village, which requested an early start so that they can begin demolishing several wings of the main building. The agreement says Siena would pay to extend 4 1/2 mile Road to Erie, and pay for improvements at Four Mile Road and Erie.

“They’re desire is to have an early start,” Ekes said. “That might be one way to handle this with some of the outstanding issues with sewer and water.”

The initial phase of the project would include demolishing 100,000 square feet of the current building, which housed the Racine Dominican Sisters, and re-constructing a $12 million building with 90,000 square feet of space. They hope to start the project this summer and anticipate completing the first phase of the project in early 2013.

If everything goes as planned, Siena Partners would finish all three phases of the project by summer of 2014.

Ultimately, the Village decided to only approve the demolition of six buildings, but not the construction project. The project will be back in front of the Village Board on June 4. That will give more time for Caledonia Utility and the Village to review the storm sewer and utility impact documents.

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