KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - Life is coming to Commerce Crossing, the former site of the Kaukauna dog track.
Artist's concept of Aurora BayCare Kaukauna Health Center (image provided)
Action 2 News reported back in July that a large medical facility would be built on the site. Aurora BayCare Medical Center announced it will be building a clinic on the property just off Interstate 41 at Highway 55.
Construction is underway on the new Aurora BayCare facility at Commerce Crossing. The partnership between the City of Kaukauna and the health care provider was about two years in the making, but Aurora BayCare says it had been eyeing the land for more than four years.
According to Chris Augustian, chairman of the board of managers for Aurora BayCare Medical Center, "We've seen a large increase in the number of patients that have been traveling from Kaukauna to Green Bay and we thought it would be best to build a facility to keep care close."
The 72,000 square foot facility will meet that need in the Kaukauna area, with the possibility to grow even bigger in the future.
"We will have three operating rooms going live, one shelled in so we can go to four; we'll have a pharmacy, we'll have therapy, primary care, specialty care, and an urgent care plus which will be staffed by ER physicians," says Augustian.
And while the facility will help to fill a health care void in the immediate area, it's also giving new life to a large piece of property that was vacate for years. Kaukauna officials had been actively trying to market the area after the former dog track closed and was torn down but were continuously told no by businesses and developers.
"The prime land was basically in between Menasha and Ballard Road, from what we were told, and we were a little bit too far north, too close to Green Bay, and it took just a long time to spark growth in the area," says Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman.
And now city officials say with Aurora BayCare as the main anchor tenant for the area, only good things will come.
Penterman adds, "That whole corridor, that Commerce Crossing, probably will explode with businesses within the next three to five years after landing Aurora."
Construction crews are hoping to continue working throughout the winter so that the facility can open by the middle of 2020.