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
RDA Donates Sharp Corner Sculpture
One hundred degree temperatures did not stop the Watertown Parks Department team of Mark Faltersack, Lead and Jim Fry, Mechanic from installing the much anticipated Sharp Corner centerpiece. Gifted to the City by the Watertown Redevelopment Authority (RDA), these three foot high letters spelling SHARP CORNER are one of the first signs that the park is nearing completion.
“It’s another exciting week here in Watertown,” said Mayor Emily McFarland. “The letters, SHARP CORNER, will get bolted into the ground today, the City logo needs a bit of painting before it’s intalled, the pergola is being made now, and we are waiting for the flagpoles, tables, and benches. We are almost there…this is going to be a wonderful anchor for this end of the downtown…we can’t wait to get it open and have you all come to enjoy it,” she concluded.
Here's a short video of the sculpture installation.
Town Square Progress
Excerpts from the Redevelopment District #2, Amendment No. 1, Public Hearing Draft: October 28, 2015
In 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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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