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Kaukauna downtown hotel and housing project raise concerns

Published: Jun. 3, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - Plans for a hotel and housing project in downtown Kaukauna continue to move forward, despite some concerns addressed during a public hearing on Thursday.

This includes the potential for more traffic and limited parking, but city officials say a market study reveals there is a need.

The site near Lawe Street and Wisconsin, calls for a 67-unit, 3-story hotel, and 101-unit, 5-story apartment complex.

It’s right across from a house owned by Tom Paterimos.

“I just think a hotel across the street from a residential area is stupid,” he said, adding “This is a neighborhood aside from the post office. I have two small kids, a third on the way and all the extra traffic, it’s hard enough getting in and out of here during rush hour.”

Others spoke out in support of the project.

Jessica Decet is with the Fox Firecracker 5K, and said, “I do agree that it brings a lot of development and economic growth for Kaukauna which I think is a great thing for the city and the businesses in that area.”

However, Nicole Lemmons questioned whether there’s enough demand. She’s part of a project, constructing another hotel in downtown Little Chute.

“I would be opposed to the hotel going on the 222 Lawe Street just because two miles down the road is a hotel opening up,” Lemmons said.

Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman says, he believes there’s enough business for everyone.

He added, “We have a lot of sports events at the high school, boys and girls basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments, the Fox Firecracker 5K, just a lot of events that would bring people into the city that would need to stay here. Right now they’re staying in other communities.”

Eventually, the commission voted in favor of providing the developer with a special exception for hotel use.

The developer is also requesting TIF financing so a vote on that would have to take place, before any construction could happen, potentially late this summer.

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