Town Square Demolition Officially Complete
June 30, 2020
The demolition phase is now complete. Great care was taken to recycle as much materials as possible. Rubble was used to stabilize the walls. "This truly is an example of the RDA turning opportunity into results," said Kristen Fish-Peterson - RDA executive Director. See Watertown Daily Times Article (6/30)
RDA Approves Sharp Corner Sculpture
June 26, 2020
The RDA approved the expenditure of $23,300 for the Sharp Corner Park centerpiece. The sculpture will consist of 3 ft. high by 18" deep blue letters spelling out Sharp Corner. Plans are to open the Park in mid-to late August.
Grants Received / Demolition Continues
May 11, 2020 & May 13, 2020
The RDA and City of Watertown received $165,000 in grants and awards from WEDC and the DNR to complete demolition of buildings in the 100 block of West Main Street.
Historic District Updates Complete
May 5, 2020
SmithGroup retained to explore more grants
May 4, 2020
RDA approved a resolution to enter into contract for grant writing services for the Town Square. See Watertown Daily Times Article.
Final razings await grant funding
April 24, 2020
Demolition has been paused momentarily as the RDA waits for grants from State of Wisconsin agencies. See Watertown Daily Times Article.
FAQ about Watertown's Town Square Project
April 9, 2020
Recently, the RDA answered questions raised on social media and in conversations.
See Watertown Daily Times Article.
RDA approves Town Square Funding
The Watertown Redevelopment Authority approved providing $1 million in funding for the
Town Square project from its own accounts. See Watertown Daily Times Article.
Town Square Reveal Draws Rave Reviews
The excitement for the design of the new Town Square was apparent long before the unveiling of the plans. See Watertown Daily Times Article.
Public Gets First Look at Town Square
The RDA, the SmithGroup, and Town Square Steering Committee unveiled plans for the new town square. The square will occupy the 100 block of west Main Street. See Watertown Daily Times Article.
Redevelopment Authority, SmithGroup Outline Town Square Plan
Razing of the 100 block Main Street buildings will “start soon. See Watertown Daily Times Article.
Frequently Asked Questions
We've put together a list of our most frequently asked questions. Learn more about our Q&A here.
RDA Signs Letter of Intent With Developer
The Watertown Redevelopment Authority has signed a letter of intent and a memorandum of understanding with T. Wall Enterprises, LLC of Middleton. Learn more here.
RDA Launches Rehabilitative Commercial
Revolving Loan Program
Property owners in downtown Watertown are now eligible to apply for a new loan program administered by the Watertown Redevelopment Authority (RDA) for the purpose of revitalizing and redeveloping their commercial real estate.
The Commercial Rehabilitative Revolving Loan is designed to foster business growth and expansion, to facilitate the development of high-quality upper-level residential units, to update and preserve historic structures, and to increase the overall economic vitality of downtown Watertown. In addition to facade beautification projects, revolving loan funds may be used for structural repairs, and major mechanical upgrades to plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems. Loan funds may also be used to offset the cost of project-related expenses such as design, architectural or engineering costs.
Funding for the revolving loan is being provided by the city through tax increment financing dollars, and participation from local community banks. A project approved for a revolving loan would require the owner to provide 10% of the total project cost upfront. The city may then provide a 10% grant to match that cost and the remaining 80% of the project cost would be financed at a rate of 2% for five years.
The initial window to apply for a revolving loan is open now through Sept. 1. Eligible commercial properties include those which are within and immediately adjacent to the boundaries of the Watertown Main Street Program, which run from Church Street to Cady Street to College Avenue to Milwaukee Street. Revolving loan funds are limited, and not all applied-for projects may be approved. The RDA reserves the right to weigh projects based on their potential visual, cultural and economic impact on downtown Watertown.
The commercial rehabilitative revolving loan is one component the RDA is using to kick-start revitalization efforts downtown. The organization is also focusing on efforts to create a town square and new a development which may include a boutique hotel in the 100 block of West Main Street. The RDA is also partnering with the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce to launch Startup Watertown, a new business accelerator program aimed at fostering new commercial and industrial growth in Watertown.
“I am very happy that the RDA is set to roll out the downtown loan program,” said Watertown Mayor John David. “I think it is another key to the success of the entire city and will be one of the economic development drivers in the city. The RDA has done a wonderful job of preparing themselves to be one of the drivers that will make our city better, help produce tax increment, and promote job growth throughout the city.”
To learn more about the rehabilitative commercial loan program, please click the link below:
c/o Watertown City Hall
106 Jones St.
Watertown, WI 53094
RDA Executive Director