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Downtown Kaukauna revitalization plans expanding

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Veterans Memorial Bridge in Kaukauna
Veterans Memorial Bridge in Kaukauna

KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ) - The push to revitalize downtown Kaukauna is expanding.

Plans were first announced last fall to redevelop the old Eagle Mill on the Fox River, near the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Now on Wednesday, developer Stadtmueller and Associates unveiled plans for the old Gustman car dealership site, across from the mill on Wisconsin Avenue.

The redevelopment plan is now being called the Grand KaKalin neighborhood.

“The exciting part is to see new life breathed into areas that were once productive parts of the community,” Randy Stadtmueller, the president of Stadtmueller & Associates, tells FOX 11.

Affordable senior housing is the first thing planned to be built on the old Gustman land. Another residential building and three commercial buildings are expected to follow.

Under the current plan, the city’s library would take up about a fifth of the old Eagle Mill building. Developers are exploring what might fill the rest of it.

“I think we're going to have a lot of interest, but we haven't actually been out signing contracts at this point, so we're hoping we'll have some senior services and other community amenities in that location,” said Stadtmueller.

The redevelopment of the old mill is expected to start this spring and cost about $8 million. The library could move in by the end of the year.

“We're going through the dollars right now and at the present time they look pretty favorable that we're not putting the taxpayers at risk for the development and yet we'll be able to provide the necessary incentives to preserve a building of the 1800's,” said Bob Jakel, the director of planning and community development for Kaukauna.

A loan financed through future tax dollars will help pay for the mill redevelopment. Developers are applying for state housing tax credits to help pay for the redevelopment across the street.

City officials say the development would help meet the demand for commercial space.The city's planning director says commercial buildings on the north side of downtown are all occupied.

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