Appleton selects mixed-use proposal for new library

Proposed mixed-use development including Appleton Public Library (Image courtesy City of Appleton)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- The winning proposal for a new development to include a new public library could also bring around 300 apartments or condominiums and retail space to downtown Appleton.

The city released the proposal Thursday. It was submitted by Paul Klister, a principal at Commercial Horizons and his two sons Dan and Tom.

The proposal was selected from among eight that were submitted in response to the city's call late last year for proposals for a mixed-use development.

“We had some very strong proposals to evaluate, but the proposal by Paul Klister and his team addressed the needs we set forth and brought us a project that we believe will be a transformative development for the downtown,” Mayor Tim Hanna said in a news release.

The first phase of the project would include the library, retail space and 96 apartments or condos. built on the space currently occupied by the Soldiers Square parking ramp. That ramp would be demolished.

Future phases, which could add more than 200 apartments or condos, would be built south of the downtown YMCA.

“There’s a strong possibility that this project can jumpstart other family-friendly business and retail in that corridor if this project moves forward,” Hanna said in the release. “It could provide a unique space for community events and would make a great connection with a revitalized Jones Park and new access planned to connect the downtown to the riverfront.”

Under the plan, the city would spend $29.8 million to build the library and another $26.7 million for a new parking ramp to replace the Soldiers Square ramp.

The city believes the development would add $66.3 million to its tax base.

The project is scheduled to be discusses at a meeting of the Finance Committee and Appleton Public Library Building and Equipment Committee at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The meeting, which is open to the public, is informational only and no vote will be taken.

The project needs to be approved by the library board and full common council.

If approved, construction could begin this fall, with the first phase finished by May 2020.

This is the second major development announcement in downtown Appleton in recent months. Last December, U.S. Venture announced plans for a new $49.5 million headquarters on the "bluff site" overlooking the Fox River on the south side of downtown.

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