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WEDC grant supports Olympia Fields revitalization

October 20, 2022
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The $250,000 grant will help transform area with housing, commercial space

OCONOMOWOC, WI. OCT. 20, 2022 –Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Deputy Secretary Sam Rikkers toured the Olympia Fields development site Thursday to see how the city of Oconomowoc has used a $250,000 grant WEDC awarded the project earlier this year.

“Olympia Fields is an area with immense potential for development, so it’s exciting to see the city of Oconomowoc and developer Wangard Partners take initiative to revitalize it,” Rikkers said. “WEDC is proud to help turn convert this space from blighted to bustling.”

The Idle Sites Revitalization grant from WEDC has helped to fund infrastructure work for the transformation of a 66-acre blighted site into a residential and commercial development with restaurants, businesses and other amenities to draw people in.

“Our vision is to make the property an attractive place to live, work and play,” said Matt Moroney, president and COO of Wangard Partners. “With the amenities we’re going to have, Olympia Fields will be a complement to the excitement currently occurring in downtown Oconomowoc. Also, with the nature of the high-end grocery store (Sendik’s), we think it’s going to be a regional attraction, too.”

The state grant is supporting the development’s northern commercial phase on land that was formerly home to a theatre, an expo center and a grocery store. The site has been unoccupied for more than two decades.

Elsewhere in Olympia Fields, Olympia Resort closed a few years ago, as did a Kmart. Located near Highway 67 and Interstate 94, the development site was both highly visible and blighted.

“The city is taking this opportunity to rebuild public infrastructure to support future growth and development in this highly visible area,” said Robert Duffy, Oconomowoc’s director of economic development. “As part of the gateway corridor into our community, it’ll provide goods and services not only locally, but to the traveling public as well.”

This WEDC grant aided in replacing private roads, including the access point to Pabst Road and Highway 67, with public ones. New, public electric systems, sewer systems and stormwater facilities, among other utilities, make Olympia Fields accessible and functional for its emerging developments. And, being located near Highway 67 and Interstate 94, Olympia Fields figures to serve more than just the local community.

Wangard Partners has been aggregating properties on Olympia Fields over the past few years and will be leading the redevelopment, populating the space with apartments, restaurants, offices and commercial space.

Sendik’s Food Market, which opened its Olympia Fields location on Wednesday, is what Moroney calls an “anchor tenant” in the development. Other businesses, including restaurants, a medical clinic and a financial institution, will be part of the development. Tenants have also begun occupying some of the new apartments.

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