WEDC investment to help fund apartments, climbing gym and commercial space
ASHWAUBENON, WI. MAY 18, 2022 – The Village of Ashwaubenon is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help construct a building with apartments, a climbing gym and leasable commercial space located near Lambeau Field in the Sports and Entertainment District.
The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support development of The Common Place, a five-story, mixed-use building. Its 88 residential units, which will include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, will help address the need for mixed-income housing in Ashwaubenon.
“While Lambeau Field is an excellent foundation and centerpiece of the area, there’s plenty of room for growth in the Village of Ashwaubenon,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s leading economic development organization. “We’re thrilled to help make the Village more of a year-round hotspot with residences, sports and pedestrian activity.”
“The Common Place further diversifies our housing stock in the village, particularly in an area of high demand,” said Aaron Schuette, Ashwaubenon’s community development director. “These units are a bit smaller than what’s been developed here in the past, so the price point’s a bit lower.”
The Common Place is being developed by Merge Urban Development Group, whose proposal fit the Village of Ashwaubenon’s master plan for the Sports and Entertainment District —adding housing while increasing the neighborhood’s appeal beyond Lambeau Field.
“The units have flexible lease terms and are pretty easy to move in or out of, for folks who are in town for an internship or moving before they can buy a home,” said Joy Hannemann, operations partner at Merge Urban Development Group. “We’re attracting new and young people to live in the village and meeting them where they’re at, whether that’s a new job or a life transition.”
Odyssey Climbing Co.’s gym will offer multiple types of climbing and could be the foundation for youth climbing teams in northeastern Wisconsin. Odyssey will be hiring 12-13 full-time employees and a few more part-time employees.
The building’s other, 3,000 square-foot commercial space is suited for a restaurant or retail store.
“We’re trying to get more of that urban, walkable and pedestrian-oriented feel in this area,” Schuette said. “This is really a catalytic project for the whole area. Obviously, Packer games make for 10+ fantastic weekends each year, but we also want to see that activity extended throughout the year.”
“This will place additional residential users in the neighborhood to enjoy all of the district’s offerings 24-7,” Hannemann said.
WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.
From the program’s inception in 2013 through April 1, WEDC has awarded nearly $34.8 million in CDI Grants to 166 communities for projects expected to generate more than $517 million in capital investments statewide.