APPLETON - A Milwaukee development firm wants to build apartments along the Fox River in Appleton. The project would bring new light to an old site on the water front.
In 2003 the Foremost Farms plant moved off of this spot on John Street on the river in Appleton. In 2011 the city bought the 8 acres, knocked down the buildings, and started cleaning up any contamination, but since then the area's been pretty much untouched, until now.
"It's so exciting, because this property is now being able to come back to the community," said Karen Harkness is Appleton's Director of Community and Economic Development.
Vetter Denk Architects wants to develop the site.
"Felt that this would be a very attractive place for people to gather," explained Kelly Denk, principal with the firm.
So the firm wants to put about 180 apartments right along the water.
"Market rate apartments for the entire site along with connectivity to the river for the general public," explained Denk.
According to Harkness, opening the water to members of the public is the city's number one priority.
"Access to the river is a primary principal that Appleton has embraced," said Harkness.
Vetter Denk is no stranger to this kind of project. They've directed similar development along Green Bay's waterfront.
"Our bread and butter is the residential market," said Denk.
But the project would also involve some city planning. That includes the addition of a road and even public parking.
Alderperson Joe Martin told FOX 11 it's a good opportunity.
"Really look at this area and see if we can help alleviate some of the pressure brought on by a number of things,' said Martin.
The site is about two blocks away from the Lawrence University Campus. Martin told us that area of town is congested, there isn't enough parking and it's tough to get around. He said he hopes this project can open things up.
"We're going to work with Lawrence and I think we have something beautiful on the horizon," said Martin.
Vetter Denk told us the planning is still in the very early stages, but the hope is to start work on the project before the year ends. It's estimated to cost about 20-million dollars.
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