City of Racine redevelopment areas and plans

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Redevelopment Areas

There are several areas in Racine where the city has created redevelopment areas and is actively encouraging projects. These plans and related programs have been developed through planning processes that included city staff, consultants, appointed committees and community stakeholders.

Water Street Redevelopment Area

The City of Racine has released a redevelopment plan for a 27.5 acre site located along the Root River and adjacent to Downtown.  The plan serves as a framework for development proposals to create a vibrant neighborhood with residential, commercial and public space elements.  This will be a catalytic site in the City’s redevelopment efforts and offers excellent opportunities to provide new housing and amenities in the City.  Draft-Water Street Redevelopment Framework


The City of Racine works closely with the Downtown Racine Corporation and the Downtown Racine Business Improvement Business District #1 to promote and enhance one of the Midwest’s most vibrant lakefront communities in the heart of the Milwaukee-Chicago MegaCity.

The Department of City Development also manages nine Tax Increment Districts (TIDs) in the downtown area, which is a tool we use pursuant to Wisconsin law to help finance economic development projects.

City Development also offers a Façade Grant Program available to downtown commercial property owners and administers a Downtown Overlay Zone to ensure that new development keeps downtown’s unique character intact.


Made possible through a dynamic community partnership, the City of Racine adopted RootWorks, the Root River Corridor Redevelopment Plan, in 2012.

The portion of the city covered by this plan contains the largest area designated for redevelopment in the city’s history: the 325-acre Root River Corridor, which is primed for redevelopment. The plan sets the stage for Racine to return to its roots and create a dynamic place for the next generation of businesses, urban workers and residents, building upon the area’s innovative heritage and spirit of world-class manufacturing. All of this is to be done while respecting and restoring ecological balance to the Root River.

Individuals can also get in on the action by volunteering through the Root River Council.


The Uptown Business Improvement District was created in 2007. The Uptown Strategic Development Plan identified and implemented a clear set of catalytic projects and strategies to help accelerate revitalization of the Broader Uptown area. Through the planning process, a clear three-pronged vision for uptown Racine was developed:

  1. Global, corporate and historic. A triple bottom line employment center and global headquarters district.
  2. Diverse, vibrant neighborhood. A vibrant destination commercial and living district serving neighborhoods, area employees and the region as a whole.
  3. An eclectic, entrepreneurial arts and creative nexus. A regional, urban, entrepreneurial and creative hub.


Questions on these premier redevelopment areas?