Rehabilitation/Redevelopment Loans Available for Downtown Businesses


The Commercial Rehabilitation Program recently received additional funds to distribute for projects that will stimulate rehabilitation and redevelopment of commercial real estate within downtown Watertown. Ultimately, the completed projects will increase property values and improve the overall economy. Projects meeting any of these specific goals will be considered: 

  • Foster new or expanding business

  • Ensure the highest and best use of commercial property

  • Facilitate the development of high quality upper story residential units

  • Attract people into downtown


Applications are due on June 18, 2020. Loan terms are subject to the loan committee's discretion. Interest rate is 2%. Owner must contribute at least 10% cash matching funds. 

The goal of the RDA is to distribute the remaining funds of less than $250,000 to support as many projects as possible. Loan applications will be reviewed at the same time to ensure maximum impact can be achieved. 


To apply, fill out the APPLICATION and mail it with the $50 application fee to:

Kristen Fish-Peterson, Executive Director, 106 Jones St. Watertown, WI 53094.

Applications can also be dropped off at Watertown City Hall.


To discuss your project, please email Kristen Fish-Peterson at


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 started in early 2020 with pending completion in Summer 2020


The Town Square Steering Committee will be reconvening to finalize the selection of a contractor, town square amenities, and provide direction on raising funds.


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. 


Follow us on Facebook for updates on all RDA activities.


Meet the Town Square Design Steering Committee.  More information on Town Square Design.

We think you’ll agree that #OpportunityRunsThroughIt!

Watertown Riverfront & Downtown Redevelopment Initiative 


Commercial Rehabilitative Revolving Loan Program


Town Square
Q & A

© 2019 Watertown, WI Redevelopment Authority

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