Economic Development

Projects Financed by the RDA

Established in December 2017, the Watertown Commercial Rehabilitation Program is designed to stimulate rehabilitation and redevelopment of commercial real estate within Watertown's main commercial area. The purpose of this Program is to attract private investment, which in turn, increases property values, attracts more businesses, and provides a destination where people can shop, dine, and enjoy.

LINK TO: OVERVIEW OF FINANCED PROJECTS

TID 8 Approved by JRB

The Joint Review Board (JRB) approved the Tax Incremental District 8
(TID 8). This clears the way for work to begin in the district located on 18 acres in the heart of downtown Watertown. In giving the green light for the creation of TID 8, the majority of representatives from the Joint Review Board, which includes the Watertown Unified School District, Jefferson County, Madison College, City of Watertown, and a member-at-large, signaled their support for future development plans surrounding the town square, the properties along north Water Street, the former Johnsonville site, the riverwalk, and the Library remodel and expansion.

 

“This is a great thing,” said Mayor Emily McFarland, “Countless people have put a lot of effort and research into creating a TID that aligns with the City’s priorities and growth plans. I especially thank the representatives of the taxing jurisdictions and members of the common council for their confidence in the process and forward-thinking actions.”

 

“The creation of this TID is a tremendous step forward for the City of Watertown,” said Nate Salas, RDA vice chair. “Keeping with the RDA’s ongoing mission of leading transformative change in the downtown, TID 8 unlocks a number of current development opportunities which may not have otherwise been possible…as well as future projects still waiting to be discovered. The passage of TID 8 will be a spark for investment in our community as we continue our work downtown.”

LINK TO: TID #8 FAQs

Marchant Economic Forecast

On Tuesday, February 9, Marchant presented “Macro to Micro” at Maranatha’s Business Workshop via Zoom.

 

“Macro to Micro” focused on five macro-level economic  influencers (below) and provided information on the national economy, the Watertown community, and the Downtown renovation.

  1. Eroding trust

  2. Social unrest

  3. The rise of four large and powerful technology companies

  4. Federal spending

  5. Pandemic experiment

LINK TO: PRESENTATION RE-CAP BY MARANATHA UNIVERSITY

 

LINK TO: POWERPOINT SLIDES

VIDEO: ROB MARCHANT PRESENTATION

Main Street Redevelopment

On December 6, 2020  the Wisconsin State Journal highlighted Watertown’s main street under the headline…

"Investing in Main Street makes more sense than Foxconn".

The article states that “Amid the fanfare over Foxconn, a proven engine for job creation has gone unnoticed: the Wisconsin communities of Main Street America. … Instead of chasing major corporations, a Main Street redevelopment approach creates sustainable local economies, built around neighborhood gathering places and supported by diverse sources of funding. [This] is a much more realistic strategy for the vast majority of smaller cities and towns around the US."

VIDEO: "IMPORTANCE OF WATERTOWN'S MAIN STREET DEVELOPMENT"

2020 Hotel Feasibility Study

​A report prepared by Patek Hospitality Consultants, Inc. to determine the potential market demand and estimate occupancy and average daily rate for a proposed 61-room limited-service hotel in Watertown, Wisconsin.

2020 HOTEL FEASIBILITY STUDY

Town Square Plans

​The town square was designed with the goals of:

- Honoring the past and creating a world-class gathering space.

- Integrating the new Library into the town square.

- Creating a low maintenance, attractive place.

- Providing a place for people to connect with the Rock River.

- Accommodating guests of all ages and abilities.

- Attracting economic redevelopment to Watertown's streets.

- Offering events for Watertown's residents and guests.

More information on the town square.

Revolving Loan Program

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.

For more information or questions, please contact RDA Executive Director, Alex Allon at aallon@cityofwatertown.org

REVOLVING LOAN APPLICATION

Downtown Development

For more information or questions, please contact RDA Executive Director, Alex Allon, at aallon@cityofwatertown.org

 

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT PLAN 

Branding Study

In January 2015, the City of Watertown began its partnership with Development Counsellors International through a contract to develop a Branding and Marketing Blueprint – complete with a new brand, logo, tagline and marketing plan – designed to yield results.  

Redevelopment Area

This plan identifies blighted properties and suggests potential public and public/private sector projects that could be undertaken to revitalize and redevelop downtown Watertown.

 

REDEVELOPMENT DISTRICT 

Hotel Feasibility Study

Report prepared by Hospitality Consulting Group to identify needs for additional hotel/lodging space in downtown Watertown.

 

HOTEL FEASIBILITY STUDY 

Downtown Parking Study

Report prepared by MSA Professional Services to provide an inventory of the existing parking supply in the downtown district as well as a discussion and recommendation for parking supply downtown, particularly in relation to potential additional development as conceived in the Watertown Riverfront/Downtown Plan.

 

PARKING STUDY 

 
 
 
 
 

Contact Us

Redevelopment Authority

c/o Watertown City Hall

106 Jones St.

Watertown, WI 53094

(920) 262-4000

Strategic Initiatives & Development Coordinator

Alex Allon

(920) 206-4266

AAllon@cityofwatertown.org 

Civic Partners

City of Watertown

www.ci.watertown.wi.us

Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce

Watertown Tourism

www.watertownchamber.com

Watertown Main Street Program

www.watertownmainstreet.org

Thrive Economic Development

www.thriveED.org