Eight years ago, the closing of the NewPage Mill in Kimberly put a lot of people out of work. Now a new development is on its way to the site and it could be a welcome bright spot for the community. The old facility is down and infrastructure for “The Cedars of Kimberly” development is starting to take shape.
“I’m ok with whatever they put in there,” said Jim Peerenboom of Peerenboom’s Bar. “Even if it’s people living there. That’s more people in our community and more people to help us out.”
Peerenboom’s Bar is a stone’s throw away from the old mill site. He’s been in the neighborhood for 30 years and use to see a lot of the mill workers come to his place.
“The business has not been that much different,” says Peerenboom. “It slowed down after certain shifts and now there is no shifts.”
The 95 acre water front property will get a face life that could breath new life into the village.
“The master plan here is a mixture of residential and commercial space,” said Randy Stadtmueller of Stadtmueller & Associates. “The parts of the old mill along the river are the location for commercial development. There is about 80,000 square feet there and there might be another 20 or 30 thousand square feet that will be added in addition to that.”
Single family homes, condos, town homes and apartment buildings are slated to be built along with trails and parks. The project could take less than 10 years to complete at a cost of $150,000,000 and that’s depending on a good economy.
“Phase 1 we will pretty much be finished with in 3 years and then phase 2 in another three years and at some point here all three areas are going to be worked on simultaneously,” said Stadtmueller.
The Village of Kimberly may borrow more than $6,000,000 to help pay for some of the construction costs for the next three years.