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Eagle Point facility along Fox River increases Appleton's riverfront access

The site of the groundbreaking for Eagle Point on May 4, 2017. (WLUK/Alexa Santos)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Appleton's riverfront is set to get a new feature.

Thursday, ground broke on a senior living facility called Eagle Point. The facility will be located off of John Street along the Fox River in Appleton.

The sights and sounds of Appleton's waterfront are something community leaders think is a big draw.

"(We want to) be able to have the community come down here and have access to the waterways, enjoy the nature," Karen Harkness, the City of Appleton's director of community and economic development, said.

That's why leaders were excited to break ground Thursday on Eagle Point. Plans call for the facility to have 99 units.

"We don't want it to be a sleepy property. Introducing the walking trails, the biking paths, and fisherman gives our residents things to look at and participate in," said Tom Pientka with Tukka Properties.

The waterfront access won't just be a benefit for the people living in the facility. There will also be walking trails connected to downtown Appleton that will be accessible to anyone from the public.

"We want people to be able to enjoy the river," Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna said.

Which Hanna says has been Appleton's goal for many years.

The site for Eagle Point has been vacant for about five years, waiting to be developed. It used to be an industrial site.

"There's not a lot of room right on the riverfront, so when we have these opportunities we have to do it, and make sure it's being used to the greatest extent," Hanna said.

But leaders say developing the site was tricky.

"This is not an easy site to develop," Harkness said. "There's a lot of transitions and elevations, there's a lot of contamination that you still have to be able to develop around."

They say they think it'll all be worth it.

"It's not just about economic development. It's really about quality of life," Hanna said.

A quality of life Hanna says is made much better by the Fox River.

The Eagle Point facility will have its own parking, so residents will not need to worry about finding parking on nearby streets.

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