Plans to redevelop City Center Plaza in Appleton are moving forward

Interest from new tenants already secured
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 9:39 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Appleton City Council unanimously approved the development agreement for the $33.6 million project in the downtown area, which includes housing and commercial space.

As City Center Plaza is prepared for a redesign, into Fox Commons, the 180-thousand-square foot facility already has announced three major tenants. They include Mosaic Family Health, Prevea Health, and housing space for Lawrence University.

As the the mayor addressed, prior to the council vote on Wednesday evening, June 7, 2023, there is some public financing attached.

“They have to meet the terms of the agreement on their end in order to access the tax increment finance incentive. Over the course of the life of the project, that will amount to $4.4 million according to the development agreement,” Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford said.

Co-developers Dark Horse Development and the Boldt Company say the project will boost the downtown economy. Moving forward, the focus will be on purchasing the building and addressing the needs of existing tenants.

“A lot of conversations around existing tenants in the building, especially on the first floor. We don’t have to move any out on the first floor at this point. We’re kind of in negotiations for what’s in their plan to either stay for a while or is there a long term strategy to make this a continued permanent home for them,” Alex Brewer from the Boldt Company explained.

The biggest concern among some council members is that the property will be a long term success, unlike what happened with the previous mall over the past two decades.

“I don’t intend to be an alderman for 25 years - but in 25 years, what is this going to look like? You know, we don’t want to be in the same place we are today with the City Center area,” stated Appleton Alderperson Sheri Hartzheim.

Construction to convert the property over to Fox Commons will start as early as July.