By Katie Hermsen, Packers.com
It may be difficult for local residents and property owners to imagine now, but the land immediately west of Lambeau Field will look very different in the fall of 2017.
Construction on the Titletown District, the 34-acre plot of land immediately west of Lambeau Field, has not yet begun, but the Packers and the Village of Ashwaubenon on Thursday came one step closer to breaking ground after holding a neighborhood open house at Ashwaubenon High School. Intended for commercial, residential and community development, the Titletown District was announced in August of 2015, and since then, plans for the site have continued to come together.
The event invited village residents and property owners to hear from the Packers and the project development consultants about the latest plans for the property. Those in attendance, about 300 people, also were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts on the project.
Packers officials and the development consultants involved with the project say it is crucial to hear from the public as the Titletown District begins to take shape, and that opportunities like the open house allow the public to learn about how the changes will affect them.
“We really appreciate the opportunity to hear from local residents as we continue in the planning stages,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “Because those in the area will be affected by many of these changes, we want to make sure we’re getting feedback and learning how we can create a space that will be used and enjoyed by the community.”
The open house comes less than four months after the Packers and the development consultants conducted focus groups at Lambeau Field to gather thoughts from local leaders, community managers and business owners on what the public plaza at the heart of the district should comprise. Many of the ideas expressed at the focus groups were considered and incorporated into updated site plans for that piece of the property.
“It was telling, just how many people showed up on a cold winter night for something like this,” said George Roberts, project manager with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, one of the consultant groups working with the Packers on the Titletown District. “It shows how much people care about their community and want to be part of this exciting development.”
The event also provided an opportunity for the Packers to reveal more details about the projected second phase of the Titletown District, which may include residential buildings, as well as expanded commercial and public spaces.
With preparations underway to soon begin construction on the initial phase of the project, and with the potential for future phases, the open house sought to address the thoughts and concerns that local business owners and residents have in terms of changes in traffic patterns and parking, as well as how use of the site may affect those in and around the area. Residents at the event had the opportunity to explain any concerns they may have so that the village can address them.
“I wanted to see the plans a little more and to understand the development, and they answered some of our questions.” said Ashwaubenon resident Heather Wright. “I love the idea of the trail, and the year-round use. The idea that it’s community and family-oriented is great.”
Nancy and Larry Dantzman, who live just a few blocks away from the planned development, said they are excited to utilize what the Titletown District has to offer with their children and grandchildren.
“It really looks wonderful so far,” said Nancy Dantzman. “It’s great for the village, it will bring jobs in and the aesthetics will be great. We’re looking forward to taking advantage of the whole thing.”
Following the formal presentation, attendees had the opportunity to visit stations displaying renderings of the project and speak with representatives from the Packers and the consultant team.
“Now that residents have seen these plans and renderings in detail, we want them to know that if they have any large problems, they can talk to us,” said Village of Ashwaubenon president Mike Aubinger. “If they tell us their concerns, we can try to fix them or minimize them. At this point, we have time to change something if it presents an issue.”
Further meetings between the Ashwaubenon Village Board and Plan Commission, as well as public hearings on the project, are scheduled for the next two months.
The Titletown District was announced in August, with the organization announcing the three initial tenants set to have a presence in the first phase of the process: Kohler Co., Bellin Health and Hinterland Restaurant and Brewery.
Building upon the success of Lambeau Field’s major redevelopment in 2003 and subsequent expansion and renovation completed in 2015, the planned Titletown District will maximize its unique location to attract more visitors to the area, spur additional regional economic growth, offer new amenities to residents and complement the greater Green Bay area’s draw as an excellent location to live, work and play.
Phase one of the project will begin construction in March, and it is set to be completed in the fall of 2017.
Click here for more on the new Titletown District