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Downtown Hobart Begins to Rise

April 1, 2016

Source: Jeff Bollier, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

HOBART - Almost 10 miles from downtown Green Bay, a different sort of downtown has started to take shape.

The area just south of State 29 and east of Overland Road still looks more like a bean field than a walk able district of shops, offices and housing. But village officials and developers expect that to change soon as investment in the Centennial Centre project begins to pay off.

Five years into the plan, Hobart Village Administrator Andrew Vickers and Hobart Crossing developer Steve Atkins said efforts to seed the field with commercial and

residential development is ahead of schedule. Vickers said the development was projected to add $18 million of assessed value to the village’s tax base, but it’s already become clear residential and commercial projects easily will exceed that.

“All of this area was nonexistent in 2010,” Vickers said. “Residential development was the focus for the first few years, and we’ve blown expectations out of the water.”

Atkins said the first 33-unit building of Hobart Crossing is leased and the 52-unit second building will welcome its first tenants June 15. The apartment complex offers tenants use of a club room, pool, fitness center, underground parking, granite countertops, modern appliances, storage and a proximity to bike paths and pending commercial developments.

Atkins said construction will begin on the third building, also 52 units, this summer while a fourth building could begin construction in 2017 if interest remains as strong as it has been.

“This type of mixed-use project is more common now in urban areas,” Atkins said. “There was some trepidation about how successful we’d be here in Hobart, but we knew these kinds of projects do well.”

Vickers said now it’s the village’s turn to kick-start the commercial development nearby. He said construction on the first commercial building in the Marketplace District should begin this summer.

“We’re working with a local developer and trying to secure leases with a few tenants right now,” Vickers said. “Construction this summer would include space for office users as well as some of those daily needs people have. There are not many food options in the area right now.”

The village also has identified more than 17 acres in the area that would be developed into public parks and plans to expand a multimodal trail as commercial development takes root. Vickers said he’s also pushed for enhanced access to State 29 as the number of residents in the area grows beyond the 1,500 that are there now.

“Our live-work-play downtown is coming to life and we’ve gotten to create it from scratch,” Vickers said. “When this was a bean field, we were all a little worried. But now, the momentum is back.”

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