Appleton proposals address downtown housing demand

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - There's a push right now to bring more housing to downtown Appleton.

Vacant former North Shore Bank Building on College Avenue in downtown Appleton (WBAY photo)

Developers say there's a huge demand, which is why two projects involving four properties are now before the city council targeting the east end of College Avenue, close to Lawrence University.

In downtown Appleton there's a lot of construction going on and there's more to come as developers cash in, on a growing number of people hoping to live in the central city.

"We're seeing people becoming more and more interested, in returning to downtown areas," said Jason Tadych of Tadych Investment Partners of Green Bay.

Tadych has plans to tear down what's now a vacant, former bank building at 320 E. College Avenue and redevelop the site as a six-story mixed use project which includes 28 apartments and first floor commercial space.

"We like the location on East College Avenue with the proximity to Lawrence University. We like the fact that, if we got up high enough it would have some nice views over the Lawrence campus and down to the Fox River," said Tadych.

At the same time just around the corner Fore Development is proposing to buy three properties.

This includes an office building at 118 N. Durkee, a residential building at 122 N. Durkee and 309 E. Washington Street, which right now is the Appleton Rock School.

All three buildings will be torn down for a 36 unit, multifamily project with construction starting this summer.

Action 2 News has been told that the Appleton Rock School is excited about a new location and will be making an announcement soon.

Alderman Joe Martin, who lives downtown, says these changes are likely just the beginning.

"We've invested in many things in our downtown and they're now starting to pay off," added Martin.

Tadych says the extra housing opportunities will also benefit existing businesses.

"We're going to see more bodies living in the downtown area. I think that means more disposable income moving into the downtown area."

The city is expected to provide TIF financing incentives to help pay for the two projects.

The council could vote on it June 5th.