Economic Development Updates
The Oshkosh chamber of commerce announces $1.5 Billion Economic Impact For region and more more than 13,000 jobs created
The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce announced the results from a recent study showcasing the Chamber’s vast economic impact on the Oshkosh regional economy for the past 20 years. In 2022, the Chamber partnered with the Center for Customized Research and Services at UW-Oshkosh to estimate the Chamber’s economic impact on the Oshkosh regional economy from 2001 – 2021. The findings demonstrate the Chamber’s activities have generated and supported $1.5 billion in combined economic impact and helped create and support 13,481 jobs.
The results of the report, which were revealed to Chamber members at the Chamber’s 115th Annual Meeting, come from evaluation of the Chamber’s operations, economic development programming and the broader regional economy’s performance in the past 20 years.
“To see the hard work of our staff, members, and local businesses big and small quantified in this way is truly remarkable. I’m proud of all that the Chamber and the Oshkosh business community has accomplished over the last two decades to fuel and support our local community,” said Rob Kleman, President at Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. “For over 100 years, the Oshkosh Chamber has been leading the way in its economic development activities, and we look forward to what the next decade will bring for the success of our businesses and community.”
As a whole, the community has enjoyed several economic development projects in the past two decades, including the development of the Downtown Action Plan, relocation and expansion of Oshkosh Corporation’s global headquarters, growth of the Universal Business Park and the creation of the Chamber’s Revolving Loan Fund.
The Chamber also played a crucial role in the retention and attraction of recent major development and investment projects, including MERGE Urban Development, the Mineshaft Restaurant and Marriott TownePlace Suites Hotel by Marriott and other Oshkosh Avenue developments. This demonstrates both the rapid acceleration of economic development activities in the past five years as well as the important role that the Chamber plays in promoting them.
“With the support of the Chamber, we knew Oshkosh was the right community to truly allow our business to thrive. When our local businesses are succeeding, our region is succeeding, and we’re excited to continue to serve our community and patrons,” Nathan Krohn, General Manager/Owner Teriyaki Madness.
The Chamber collaborates and partners with entrepreneurs, employers and workers to continue investing, inventing and innovating for a better future. In fact, small businesses also made a large impact on the economic impact results, accounting for 90% of the Chamber’s members as a whole.
the Oshkosh chamber of commerce is the leading advocate and champion for business interests and economic development activities on behalf of more than 1,000 members.
New Development Along Oshkosh Avenue Progresses
Plans for new development along the Oshkosh Avenue corridor near the new Oshkosh Corporation global headquarters continues to move forward. Developer Steve Hoopman of Lakeshore Development recently announced that the construction of a new 103 room extended stay Marriott TownPlace Suites will begin this Spring. In addition, Hoopman recently received Plan Commission approval of a general development plan and specific implementation plan on a 2.59 acre parcel of land at 1650 and 1660 Oshkosh Avenue for the construction of a new 22,000 square foot two- story office building that will be the new home of CliftonLarsonAllen. Plans also call for another three-tenant retail building that will be the home for a new Dunkin’ Donuts. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 on both buildings.
Through November of 2019, the Oshkosh Chamber has worked with 89 business cases relative to site location and property sales, financing, business expansion, general market research, and entrepreneurial support.
Smith Elementary School Sale Approved
The sale of the former Smith Elementary School at 1745 Oregon Street was recently approved for future housing development. The Oshkosh Area School District’s Board of Education approved the sale of the facility to Tim Hess of Invista Analytics along with local developers, Andy Dumke, Cal Schultz and Chet Wesenberg. The 32,690 square foot building sits on a 2.3 acre parcel of land on the Oshkosh’s south side.
City Redevelopment Authority Approves Sale of Sawdust District Parcel to Sawdust District Lofts-Oshkosh, LLC
The city’s Redevelopment Authority agreed to sell a Sawdust District parcel in the 700 Block of S. Main Street to Sawdust District Lofts-Oshkosh, LLC. The proposal was submitted by the NorthPoint Development Corporation and was one of four proposals considered for the site. The developers plan to construct 60 new workforce housing units on the site and are promising to invest over $11 million within the units. The project will include three levels of underground parking and a plaza that would be available for public use. The project still needs to be approved by the Common Council, however, the land sale does not require any further review.
The Gibson Social Club – New Event Venue to be Developed at 537 N. Main Street.
A new wedding and event venue is being planned for the former Crescent Moon Antiques Building at 537 N. Main Street in downtown Oshkosh. Local developers Eric and Kristen Hoopman recently purchased the building and plan to create a new event and meeting space that will cater to weddings and wedding receptions. The remodeling of the space will include the addition of a catering kitchen, bathrooms, and three bars including one on a mezzanine level. The entire space will be renovated and will be available for large and small events. The new owners plan to highlight and preserve the buildings historical elements and beauty and will utilize reclaimed or salvaged materials in the process. Plans are to host an “opening” party by mid-summer 2020.
Merge Announces Plans For Food Co-Op In BRIO Building Project
Merge Urban Development announced plans for a new 8,000 square foot Food Co-Op at the corner of Jackson Street and Pearl Avenue. Plans call for the Food Co-op to occupy the entire first floor of a proposed 5-story building called the BRIO Building that would also include 56 market rate residential units with 28 underground and 112 surface parking stalls. The entire building will be 76,258 square feet with a total development cost estimated at $11.9 million. Constructed is anticipated to begin in May, 2020.
The entire development is being branded as Mackson Corners (Marion Road Redevelopment Area) along with the BRIO Building which is part of a 3-phase series of mixed-use and multi-family residential buildings to be constructed over a four year period that will ultimately result in the construction of 270 residential units ranging from furnished micros to luxury townhomes. The series of buildings in aggregate will offer 29,000 gross square feet of commercial space and the neighborhood development includes over 300 on-site parking stalls. The total project cost is projected to be approximately $56 million.
The entire site is located in a federally designated Qualified Opportunity Zone and is part of a newly created $9.8 million TIF District that was approved by the Oshkosh Common Council on June 11. The Oshkosh Chamber worked very closely with representatives of Merge and the City of Oshkosh over the past 18 months as Merge was considering Oshkosh for investment opportunities.
Construction Strong in Oshkosh
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue recently released the official 2019 new construction statistics which is a summary of 2018 activity. Oshkosh commercial construction numbers continued to be strong in 2018 with $35.6 million in new construction which was 3rd among neighboring Fox Valley municipalities.
Since 2008, Oshkosh has led the region in new commercial construction with $392 Million. The breakdown is as follows:
Oshkosh $392 million
Appleton $386 million
Green Bay $385 million
Fond du Lac $260 million
Neenah $111 million
Extreme Customs Construction Begins
The Extreme Customs project, in the former JC Penney’s and Miles Kimball Outlet Store location, held a Demolition Day on October 14. The Demolition Day marked the beginning of the construction process for their expansion project. Extreme Customs plans to renovate the 60,000 sq. ft. space and relocate their existing business to the facility. This $5.6 million project will retain 40 jobs in Oshkosh and will position the company for future growth. CR Structures Group is the general contractor for the project.
So far in 2019, the Oshkosh Chamber has worked with 78 business cases relative to site location and property sales, financing, business expansion, general market research, and entrepreneurial support.
Evco Plastics Expanding
Evco Plastics, recently broke ground on a new 31,025 square foot expansion in Oshkosh. which will position the company to meet the increasing demand for large-part molding across a variety of industries and applications. The addition will be operational by January of 2020 and will include a total of over 116,000 square feet when completed.
Greene’s Pour House to Locate in Former Granary
Greene’s Pour House, announced that they will be locating in the former Granary Restaurant at 44 W. 6th Avenue in Oshkosh. Greene’s has been operating in downtown Neenah for the past 7 years. It is anticipated that the Oshkosh location will be open by November 1, 2019.
Chick-fil-A Eyeing Spot on Oshkosh’s West Side
Chick-fil-A is considering a site next to the new Verve location on N. Washburn in Oshkosh. The project was slated for discussion at the October 1st Oshkosh Planning Commission meeting. A timeline has not yet been set for when the restaurant could open.
Chick-fil-A opened its first location in northeast Wisconsin, in the Fox Cities, last month. The location is on College Avenue, off I-41 in Grand Chute.
So far in 2019, the Oshkosh Chamber has worked with 74 business cases relative to site location and property sales, financing, business expansion, general market research, and entrepreneurial support.
Mineshaft Project Breaks Ground
Construction began on the new 35,626 square foot Mineshaft Restaurant project at the former Aviation Plaza site. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 1st with the developer agreement being approved by the Oshkosh Common Council on August 13th. This long-awaited $16.3 million project will help to transform a major southwest gateway into the City of Oshkosh at the I-41/Highway 44 Interchange. The Oshkosh Chamber had been assisting the Mineshaft ownership regarding a potential Oshkosh location since 2012 and is excited that this project will create a regional family entertainment venue that currently does not exist in our market. The Mineshaft is expected to draw over 300,000 people annually from outside of a 10-mile radius of Oshkosh and create up to 200 new jobs.
Extreme Customs Project Moving Forward
Extreme Customs also received approval of its developer agreement on August 13th. They are planning to renovate the vacant and former 60,000 square foot JC Penney building and relocate their existing business to the facility. Extreme Customs will have a retail presence there and will also be expanding its internet based sales and distribution business that includes wheels, tires, lift kits, and accessories to the site. This $5.6 million project will retain 40 jobs in Oshkosh and positions the company for future growth.
Merge Urban Development receives Approval
The Merge Urban Development project received approval of its developer on August 13 by the Oshkosh Common Council. The project that is being developed in the Marion Road Redevelopment area along the banks of the Fox River and Oshkosh’s Jackson Street corridor. It will include up to 240 new residential units, 38,000 square feet of commercial space with a total project value over $40 million. The entire project timeline could take up to 4.5 years. The Oshkosh Chamber is proud to have worked very closely through our referral partner network to identify the Merge Development team to help cultivate its interest in Oshkosh.
Oshkosh Chamber Provides Two $50,000 Small Business Loans
The Oshkosh Chamber recently closed two $50,000 loans through Oshkosh Area Economic Development Corp RLF Fund to facilitate expansions for Adventure Games and Green 3. Adventure Games will be relocating and expanding its business from 927 Oregon Street to 408 N. Main Street this September. Adventure Games is a local game store that offers board games, hobbies, and dedicated open gaming space. Green 3 was founded in Oshkosh in 2006 and has a local retail presence at 2325 St. Road 44. They will be utilizing these loan funds to expand their business in its transition from a mainly wholesale company to a direct to consumer Amazon focused retail company.
Happening Around Oshkosh
- Bank First construction continues on new 6,800 sq. ft. offices at 1159 N. Koeller St.
- Alro Steel construction continues on new 195,000 sq. ft. facility near Ripple Ave./Poberezny Rd.
- Shea Electric remodeling work continues at 3175 Atlas Ave.
- Town of Algoma Approved Lakevista Estates Development – 44.4 Acres for Single Family and Two Family
- Mobil Station demolished for a new bank at 2020 S. Koeller St.
- O-Town Iron to locate at Fair Acres Shopping Center– 10,000 square feet
- Blades and Boards opened at 2283 State Road 44
- Adventure Games to expand to 408 N. Main St.
- Construction began on the new 52 unit, 40,000 square foot Mathews Senior Living project on N. Jackson St.
- Construction began on the Fresenius Kidney Care and Dialysis Services project on Old Omro Road.
- Re-Construction continues on Five Below and Ulta
- Gabe’s Wisconsin Kitchen and Tavern opened at 1160 N. Westhaven Dr. on Sept 3
So far in 2019, the Oshkosh Chamber has worked with 62 business cases relative to site location and property sales, financing, business expansion, general market research, and entrepreneurial support.
Aviation Plaza Development
Over $22 Million in total investment. The Oshkosh Common Council approved the creation of TIF #37 to support the Mineshaft Entertainment/Extreme Customs/Rogan’s Project at the former Aviation Plaza site on July 23rd. Approved on a 7-0 vote.
Mineshaft Restaurant and Entertainment Project
The Oshkosh Chamber has been assisting the Mineshaft ownership regarding a potential Oshkosh location since 2012
35,000 sq. ft. restaurant and entertainment project $16.3 Million – expand to 60,000 square feet
- Expected to draw over 300,000 people annually from outside of a 10-mile radius of Oshkosh
- Create 150-200 new jobs
- Creation of a regional family entertainment venue that currently does not exist in the market
- Major Oshkosh gateway enhancement – I-41/Highway 44 interchange
- A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 1
- Tires, Wheels, Suspensions, and Accessories
- Retains 40 employees and growing
- On-line based sales and will have a retail presence in former 60,000 square foot JC Penney building
A $500,000 WEDC Idle Sites grant has been approved to help with project infrastructure
- The Idle Sites Redevelopment Program offers grants up to $500,000 to Wisconsin communities for the redevelopment of sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for a period of at least five years. Grants can assist with rehab or infrastructure improvements, demolition, and environmental remediation.
The TIF approval was for approximately $1.7 Million. This will be a pay-go TIF with a short payback cycle time to help with stormwater issues on-site and water lines and other code compliance. All TIF eligible costs are financed by the developer upfront. There are site issues that have to be dealt with – water hookups and stormwater management compliance issues
The MERGE DEVELOPMENT project was approved on June 11
- Potential for 238 units and $32 MM
- Phase I would include 111 units at the intersection of Jackson Street and Marion Road
- Second building a 5 story multi-use with 9 walkup residential units on the ground floor and 29 upper floor units
- Third building would be a two-story row home building with 8 residential units
- Another building on the corner of Jackson/Marion could be 2 story’s with 14 residential on upper
- Council approved the project and TIF up to a $9.8 Million on June 11
Potential for Development at Pioneer Inn Site
- Developer Art Dumke
- Micro-resort Concept
- $12 Million development
- 2 new piers and 80 new Boat Slips
- Event tent rental and Glamping Sites
- 12 new extended-stay suites to house marina operations staff with public use options
- Two observation towers connected by a zip-line
- Outdoor swimming pool with recreational condos
- Other Entertainment Options
2019 Oshkosh Development Highlights
- Construction continues on the 190,000 sq. ft. Oshkosh Corporation Global Headquarters
- Blades and Boards Opened on Highway 44
- Caseys General Store on Jackson Opened – May 30th
- Verve opening a new branch on S. Washburn near Dick’s Sporting Goods
- TJ’s Highland Steakhouse opened
- Bank First under construction – 6800 square foot offices – 1159 N. Koeller – Open by end of year
- Alro Steel under construction – 150,000 sq. ft. facility- Ripple/Poberezny
- Shea Electric Work under construction at 3175 Atlas Avenue
- Remodeling work underway at former A&E Jewelers for new Home Care Assistance offices
- Home Goods next to Hobby Lobby Opened June 23
- Construction well underway for Casey’s General Store on Oshkosh Ave. $3.5 Million
- O-Town Iron to locate at Fair Acres – 10,000 square feet
- Ulta under construction
- Town of Algoma Approved Lakevista Estates Development – 44.4 Acres
- Single Family and Two Family
- Dynamic Drinkware relocated to Avalon Papers Building
- Plan Commission Approvals for a Bank at 2020 S. Koeller
- Pixel’s Arcade Opened in Witzel center
- Construction began on the new 52 unit, 40,000 square foot Mathews Senior Living project on N. Jackson Street
- Construction began on the Fresenius Kidney Care and Dialysis Services project on Old Omro Road.
Current City of Oshkosh Unemployment Rate for June was 3.6% down from 3.7% in June of 2018. There are currently 142 less City residents working this year compared to last year. There are 176 fewer people in the labor force
Winnebago County Unemployment Rate for June was 3.3% down from 3.4% in June 2018. There are currently 375 fewer county residents working this year over last year. There are 506 fewer people in the labor force.
So far in 2019, the Oshkosh Chamber has worked with 54 business cases relative to site location and property sales, financing, business expansion, general market research, and entrepreneurial support.
- Currently working on 18 Active Projects
- Oshkosh Chamber staff attended the annual ICSC RECON real estate trade show May 19-22. Connected with real estate professionals from throughout the country to discuss expansion plans, site locations, and present development opportunities in Oshkosh.
- Over the past month, we toured eight commercial properties with owners and brokers relative to property leasing and sales
- Provided pre-development assistance and support for the potential Aviation Plaza redevelopment project that could result in over $20 million invested in Oshkosh, add over 100 new jobs and retain 32 jobs.
- Met with representatives of the Merge Urban Development Group team to provide pre- development assistance and market analysis support. Phase I of the project for 111 new multi-family residential units at the corner of Jackson Street and Marion Road was approved on June 11 by the Oshkosh Common Council. The development could ultimately add a total of 238 residential units, 22,000 square feet of commercial space, and include over $32 million in investment.
- Oshkosh Chamber staff Testified at Wisconsin’s Joint Committee on Finance meeting in Green Bay in support of TIF and the Manufacturing and Ag Tax Credit programs that benefit our local businesses.
- Construction began on the new 52 unit, 40,000 square foot Mathews Senior Living project on Jackson Street.
- Construction began on the Fresenius Kidney Care and Dialysis Services project on Old Omro Road.
- Casey’s General Store is now open on Jackson St. along with the new Verve, a Credit Union location on S. Washburn St. and HomeGoods on S. Koeller St.
- Oshkosh’s May unemployment rate was 2.7% unchanged from a year ago with employment at 33,799.