$10 million project planned for former Brin Theatre property in Menasha

(Image: Vision Architecture, LLC)
(Image: Vision Architecture, LLC)(WBAY)
Published: Dec. 17, 2019 at 11:42 AM CST
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Plans are moving forward for a $10 million development to replace the historical Brin Theatre, which was destroyed by a fire in Menasha last year.

Renderings for the development were shown to the city council Monday night. They include a four-story apartment building; a three-story building with first-floor retail space and apartments above it; and a third building near the water which could house a restaurant or business.

"So it's a great 10 million dollar development. The developers is not asking for city assistance, and we're looking at bringing 50 plus new units of residential and six to eight retail units into that space," said Menasha Mayor Don Merkes.

The architecture firm says the development will include public spaces and a connection to the water and trails at Main and Tayco streets.

The development will be called The Brin, in tribute to the property that was part of downtown Menasha's history since 1928. The owners decided in October 2018 to tear down the gutted building, saying it would be too expensive to rebuild or repair (see related stories


). The city purchased the property for $1 then marketed it to developers.

Merkes added,"The new developers want to work with us to kind of bring back some of those historic elements. They want to brand it was the Brin to remember what was there but still move forward with our future as well."

Mary Jo Weidert owns the Wild Apple, and she expects the entire downtown to benefit from the project.

"I had heard some rumblings that there was developers coming in and I didn't realize the scale of the development but I"m pretty excited about it," she said.

The project is spearheaded by RF Development, based in Menasha.

Its plans received unanimous approval from city leaders to move forward.

The goal is to have the buildings move-in ready in the spring of 2021.