RDA / Common Council Approve MOU for Multi-Family Development
On November 17, the Watertown Common Council voted to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with T. Wall Enterprises to develop the property adjacent to the town square (1st Street Parking Lot). The proposal, which was earlier approved by the RDA, includes a 75-unit, multi-family development with private, underground parking and approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of commercial space on the main floor.
“We believe this project is a great fit for downtown Watertown,” said Kristen Fish, RDA Executive Director. T. Wall first contacted Fish in the fall of 2018. Since then, the RDA and City have been working with the developer to align this project with the City’s interests. “Housing was always something we wanted to see in our downtown redevelopment project…housing brings more residents with discretionary spending to the downtown, adds to the local property value, and improves public use and enjoyment of the downtown and the surrounding area,” Fish continued. “We think we have a great development on tap,” she concluded.
T. Wall is agreeing to invest not less than $11 million which must be assessed at no less than $6,750,000 when completed. Fish pointed out at a July 2020 RDA meeting that, “The collected taxes from the buildings that were torn down in the 100 block of west Main Street were approximately $25,600 per year…that value, while significant, could easily be replaced by a development which, if between $8-10 million, could pay between $150,00 and 175,000 in taxes per year.” MORE
Meet Me at the Square
Work on the square has reached the Design Development phase which includes finishing the town square site plan. A site plan is needed to create construction documents and used to obtain permits and construction bids. At the same time, a new Town Square Design Steering Committee has convened to select materials, lighting, and site fixtures (i.e. seating, path surface, street surface, retaining wall, interactive fountain, floating dock, etc.).
A second team is working on finalizing funding needs. For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact RDA Executive Director Kristen Fish-Peterson. firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 Hotel Feasibility Study Completed
Patek Hospitality Consultants, Inc. has completed a study of potential market demand and prepared a statement of estimated annual operating results for a proposed 61-room limited-service hotel affiliated with a major hotel brand to be located in Watertown, Wisconsin.
Town Square Progress
Excerpts from the Redevelopment District #2, Amendment No. 1, Public Hearing Draft: October 28, 2015
n 2014, Watertown’s Common Council accepted the recommendations of the Watertown Riverfront/Downtown Redevelopment Initiative as well as other relevant plans for the general area dating back to 2004. This redevelopment plan was consistent with the City’s ongoing master planning and economic development efforts.
One of the objectives of this plan was to create a physically and economically vital riverfront and downtown area by eliminating blight, ensuring appropriate land uses specifically, but not restricted to, the establishment of a comprehensive riverfront walking/biking pathway system with accompanying seawall and river edge improvements, redevelopment of the manufacturing and distribution properties into uses that are more conducive to revitalization of the downtown, improving both vehicular and pedestrian traffic and enhancing the environmental attributes and historical character of the Riverfront and Downtown.
Specific goals included developing a centralized, multi-use public space (art festivals, dances, beer-n-brats, farmers’ market) in the form of a town square on the south side of the 100 block of West Main Street. More specifically, the creation of a town square and development of riverbank amenities including an amphitheater in conjunction with a library expansion and commercial development which would add significantly to the vitality of the downtown and riverfront.
Up until 2019, most of the work has been done behind the scenes. The final building purchase in the 100 block of West Main Street took place in 2019. Demolition was completed in Summer 2020. The Town Square Steering Committee is reconvening to finalize the selection of a contractor and town square amenities.
This has been a long process to get to where we are today. On behalf of the City, the RDA, and the Town Square Steering Committee, we thank the citizens of Watertown for their support, ideas, patience, and encouragement. As of now, the town square is set to open in the Fall of 2021.
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Meet the Town Square Design Steering Committee. More information on Town Square Design.
We think you’ll agree that #OpportunityRunsThroughIt!
The Redevelopment Authority (RDA) was established in December 2016 for the purpose of carrying out blight elimination, slum clearance, and urban renewal projects in the City of Watertown. It is separate from the long-standing Community Development Authority (CDA) which exclusively handles public housing in the city.
The purpose of the RDA is to encourage reinvestment in under-utilized areas of the city through the rehabilitation or removal of blighted properties resulting in new infill housing and commercial developments, job creation, an expanded tax base, and an improved quality of life for the citizens of Watertown.
c/o Watertown City Hall
106 Jones St.
Watertown, WI 53094
RDA Executive Director