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Plans for former Appleton nightclub revealed

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 7:27 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A once popular nightclub in downtown Appleton that’s been vacant for years, is about to show signs of life.

A proposal to develop the former “Park Central” building at 318 W. College Avenue is now before the city council, which includes a request for TIF financing, up to $1.3 million to support the cost of construction.

The nightclub, which was once a hotspot on weekends, has since become an eyesore for many downtown, even as nearby buildings become renovated.

However, that’s about to change according to a development agreement.

The property’s current owner, Matthew Cole said, “We were involved in another project down the street and this is an incredible opportunity to further investment into the downtown of Appleton and really provide a benefit to the community.”

Cole spoke before the city’s Community and Economic Development Committee Wednesday, which also voted unanimously to recommend support of project’s TIF request for financing.

The proposal for the 75,000 square foot building calls for a mix of commercial space, and housing.

“It would be 39 apartments with 51 bedrooms and they are proposing to add three floors to the existing building,” said Karen Harkness, Community and Economic Development Director.

Park Central shut down in 2012, after 25 years in business.

Years later, a plan to transform the building into office space, was started, but never finished under a different owner.

Jennifer Stephany of Appleton Downtown, INC said, “Definitely as we’re seeing this higher density of residential it’s going to be more of a walkable, livable district, and we’re really excited about what that could mean for us.”

The housing offered will be market rate, according to Cole.

“I do intend to create a mix of higher end units as well as saved cost in some of the finishes on some of the more affordable units so it’s actually going to be a mix of price points,” he said.

The full council will vote on TIF financing at it’s meeting next week.

Once it begins, construction is expected to last about 18 months.

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