News & Events

West Side Association is proud of the role it has played in the support and promotion of community and infrastructure projects. Many times our initiatives are "behind the scene" but in the past few years, the organization has taken a more visible role in several public events such as ribbon cutting celebrations for the WI Highway 21 overpass and the Lake Butte des Morts Causeway.

Some of the most recent News & Events include:

West Side Association Presents: 

Developing Oshkosh - A New Game

You have Questions...We have Answers!

WSA Postcard 12 16

Thursday, February 9, 2017

7:45am - 9:00am (Registration at 7:30am)

LaSure's Banquet Hall

Several key private Oshkosh developers will participate in a panel discussion about their visions and plans for some of the most asked-about properties in the Oshkosh area. 

Complimentary Continental Breakfast.  RSVP to Rachel Hansen - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 920-232-2294

Annual Meeting: Developers Panel – Progress Continues
January 14, 2016

Why change something that’s working? Our 2016 Developers Panel featured some new faces along with a couple of familiar local developers.

Dirk Binema, the Dutch farmer who bought a truckstop—he also has invested in the Cobblestone Hotel adjacent to the Planeview Travel Plaza, and most recently opened Chester V’s Gastropub with a partner.

John Lord, 4Imprint—with a 100,000 sq. ft. addition to the distribution center in the SouthWest Industrial Park, and another 25,000 sq. ft. added to the headquarters downtown in City Center, 4Imprint is demonstrating its commitment to Oshkosh. They employ 600 downtown and 200 on the west side, and have won several workplace awards including June 2015 Great Places to Work and Fortune and one of the 100 best places for millenials in the United States.

Mike Goudreau, Discovery Properties, is strictly a residential developer, adding a new dimension to the panel. His company is currently working on the redevelopment of the Washington Building, transforming it from commercial to residential use. Built in 1914, the renovation will include 20 unique apartment units, between 850 and 1200 square feet, and each maintaining original elements of the building.

Steve Moorehead, Barr Incorporated—located on S. Washburn Street, the company parcel is over 80 acres. The main business, an international refrigeration and equipment supply company, takes up half the property. Also located there is Barr Secure Storage, the largest storage facility in the Fox Valley with 800 units ranging in size from 60 to 12,000 square feet. In addition, Barr Inc. constructed 2 multi-tenant flex warehouse facilities with 12’-14’ overhead doors, loading dock access, and restrooms to meet the needs of tenants that needed more space to run their businesses.

Peter Jungbacher, Alexander & Bishop—the long-awaited Sports Authority store discarded their plans to open at Market Fair when Dick’s Sporting Goods announced they were building in Oshkosh. The space for Ross Dress for Less is ready, with opening scheduled for March 4, and the Oshkosh Noodles and Company had the best 3 month opening in the company's history. Watch for another new restaurant to move in next to Noodles, and another fast causal national tenant next to Ross.

Grant Schwab, Morgan Partners—it was a good year with the opening of Panera Bread, Dicks Sporting Goods and Petsmart. Retailers want to develop here; they see Oshkosh’s untapped potential and our lack of shopping choices. The Jeld-Wen site is making progress too. All the buildings are gone and plans have been submitted for a 120-unit apartment building with a 30,000 sq. ft. grocery store. In addition, Verve Credit Union is planning to begin construction this year on their new location on Murdock Ave. at the former site of Vitale’s Restaurant.

Annual Meeting: Developers Panel – Moving Forward
January 8, 2015

The 2014 Developer’s Panel was quite successful, so we kept the format for the 2015 Annual Meeting, but tweaked it just a bit. This year, we decided to invite only private developers and eliminate the economic development organizations from the program. While those groups have great stories to tell, we felt they were more appropriate presenters for membership meetings where they have more time to discuss their projects. Since the general public rarely gets a chance to ask questions of the private developers, we felt that would provide better value to our members. This years panelists included:

Brian Wagner, Black Teak Properties/DealerFire
Grant Schwab, Morgan Partners/First Weber Group
Keith Holschback, The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh
Peter Jungbacker, Alexander & Bishop
Jim Larson, City Center
Mark Kastein, Floor Quest

The panel discussion was moderated by Sean Fitzgerald, the Publisher of New North B2B magazine. Each panelist was asked to address specific projects or properties with which they are associated.

Annual Meeting: Developer's Panel – A Community Perspective
January 16, 2014

West Side Association put a new twist on the annual meeting this year by inviting local private developers to participate in a panel discussion of their current and future projects. The topic piqued the interest of the business community, which was evidenced by over 120 people attending the event. The panel included:

Andy Dumke  – Alliance Development
Brian Wagner  – DealerFire/Black Teak Properties
Grant Schwab – Schwab Properties/First Weber Group
Keith Holschbach – The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh
Peter Jungbacher – Alexander and Bishop

The panel discussion was moderated by Sean Fitzgerald, the Publisher of New North B2B magazine. Each panelist was asked to address specific projects or properties with which they are associated.

Andy Dumke—Alliance Development recently purchased the former Kmart/Sears building on N. Koeller St., but as yet the company has not developed a concrete plan for the property. The existing building will likely be razed and the site cleared for outlot businesses with big box retailers anchoring the space. Andy did note that the Sears lease had just expired in August 2013.

Alliance is also involved with the Rivers II project, an 80-unit, 4 story residential building located on the north bank of the Fox River near Jackson Street and slated to break ground in Spring. The industrial feel of the architecture is likely to appeal to young professionals who want to live in the downtown area.

Brian Wagner—Black Teak Properties has several parties interested in leasing the former Soiree space in the 400 block of Main Street. The company is being selective to ensure the new tenant is a good fit for the downtown area, but they hope to have someone in that space by summer. They anticipate a February or March opening for the former Joey's Bar, which will be known as Bar 430. With recent approval to expand the business by converting the second floor from its current residential space, remodeling will be continuing with the upper floor opening in September.

DealerFire, which is currently located at 146 Algoma Boulevard, has been experiencing tremendous growth and expansion. With upwards of 70 employees in their current location, the owners (who are also part of Black Teak Properties) recently purchased a three-story building at 531 N. Main Street that formerly housed Kitz Printing. Interior demolition has already begun that will enable the software company to expand to 150 employees, and occupy the second and third floors. The company hopes to develop retail on the first floor.

Grant Schwab—An investment group named Morgan District LLC purchased the former Morgan/Jeld-Wen property and armed with a $150,000 clean up grant, has demolished nearly all of the factory buildings that were located on that site (Sixth Avenue on both sides on Oregon Street, bordering the Fox River). In 2014, we will see the construction of a 24,000 square foot office building on the South East corner near the Dockside Tavern. Additionally, Morgan District LLC plans to deed a portion of the riverfront property to the city for the continuation of the Riverwalk.

The Schwab Properties Group successfully closed the deal on the CVS Pharmacy that recently opened at the corner of 9th Avenue and N. Koeller Street after many challenges and set-backs. Grant feels the realization of this project sends a message to other retailers who may be considering Oshkosh that we CAN get deals done. There is a new regime of city, developers, and landowners who are not willing to give up.

Keith Holschbach—The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh have a challenging and unique dilemma in terms of marketing the store brands that have locations at the mall. Because many of the brands are sold in retail outlets within a close proximity of the Outlet Shoppes, they are restricted from advertising those brands. Consequently, many area shoppers are not aware that the outlet features Skechers, Areopostale, Gap, CJ Banks and more.
Although he was not able to identify the brand, Keith did indicate that Horizon Group recently purchased a national restaurant chain, and the vacant restaurant on the Outlot will be home to that new restaurant as early as May 15. He did caution that the Oshkosh community's support is paramount to the success of the new eatery.

Peter Jungbacher—While he could not say who he is in negotiations with, Peter did indicate that the north wing of the Menard's Plaza Strip Mall will be remodeled this year for a new tenant. Additionally, there is a party interested in an Outlot location there.
On the residential front, plans are being laid for a 51-unit second phase of the Morgan Crossing apartments on Pearl Avenue. The driving force behind residential development in this area is the growing student population, which is anticipated to increase from 14,000 to 18,000 in the coming years.

Economic Development Organizations
Representatives from the City Development Department, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and Chamco were on hand to share how their respective organizations assist and support the private developers to ensure their projects move forward. They also provided brief updates on projects around Oshkosh.

Rob Kleman, VP of Economic Development, Oshkosh Chamber—The former Walmart site at the corner of 20th Avenue and S. Koeller has been purchased by the Masters Group from Hartford, WI and demolition of the strip mall has begun. At this point, no plans have been submitted to the city for new construction, however, the Masters Group owns and operates both the Fox and Hounds and Mineshaft Restaurants, as well as provides concessions for the annual Country USA Festival. The prevailing opinion is that we can assume plans will be submitted for a large-scale restaurant and possibly some retail space in the near future.

Allen Davis, Development Director, City of Oshkosh—Allen addressed two high-profile properties that folks have been asking about for some time: the Buckstaff property on South Main Street and the Pioneer property on Pioneer Drive. Unfortunately, the city does not own either of these properties, so the amount of influence they have on facilitating action is very limited.
The Buckstaff property is a unique dilemma because there had been a dispute with the bank as to who owned the property—the bank or the former owner who filed bankruptcy. To make matters worse, the bank (Citizens Bank) was recently sold and is now First Merit Bank. The city of Oshkosh is working with an attorney and filed a suit claiming the building is a public nuisance, and anticipate a hearing will be held on the matter in spring.
Regarding the Pioneer Inn property, the city is pursuing a Market Analysis to determine possible uses for the property if and when the owner is ready to sell.

Elizabeth Hartman, CEO Chamco—The former Pluswood building is now unoccupied and listed for sale. Chamco expects that property to see development of that property, possibly in the form of a convenience store, as well as expansion of the northeast industrial park with more heavy industrial businesses.
The formation of a new Aviation Business Park can be an entire presentation in itself, so suffice it to say that project is moving forward but it will be a long-term development, probably 15 to 20 years. A consultant is being hired to assist in the planning of the project and determining they types of businesses that will be the best fit for the property.

The overall consensus is that there is a new prevailing attitude at city hall with more fair and equitable treatment to the development community. The professional approach that now exists has been a significant improvement and will enable Oshkosh to continue to build on the momentum we have seen in the recent past.

West Side Developer's Panel Summary

West Side Association Presentation 

 

Lake Butte des Morts Causeway Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
June 11, 2013

After the success of the WIS 21 ribbon cutting celebration, the Wisconsin DOT contacted West Side Association to participate in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the opening of the new Lake Butte des Morts causeway. We gladly accepted the invitation and got busy planning and organizing the event.

Plenty of planning went into the celebration, which included pre-ceremony entertainment by the Lourdes Academy Marching Band, the Pledge of Alliegience led by area Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, refreshments and cake graciously donated by Two Brothers Restaurant and Festival Foods, and music by Dorsey Entertainment.

The festivities were held in a huge tent, which was erected on the causeway so people got a close-up view of the project. Speakers included:
• WIS DOT NE Region Director, Will Dorsey
• WI Secretary of Transportation, Mark Gottlieb
• Oshkosh Chamber President, John Casper

Attendees each received a "goodie bag" with items donated by West Side Association member businesses. Approximately 200 people attended in spite of the hot and humid weather that day.

About the Project
The new causeway over Lake Butte des Morts on US 41 opened fully to traffic in July 2013, and is undoubtedly a relief and a pleasure for motorists who drive it. With two additional lanes in each direction capable of handling a much larger volume of traffic, the improvements over the lake are impressive.

Prior to the mid-1950s when the original causeway was built, motorists had to cross the Fox River in downtown Oshkosh. The construction of a causeway with a series of three bridges was a great improvement, said Tom Buchholz, WisDOT Project Manager, though one of the bridges was a draw bridge. "They said traffic would back up for miles if a boat went through after a Packer game," he said.

The Causeway reconstruction project was undertaken to address capacity and safety needs on US 41, Buchholz said, adding that WisDOT looked at several options, including the construction of a singe bridge to the west of the existing causeway. With a price tag of around $100 million for a bridge compared to approximately $34 million for an improved causeway, WisDOT opted for the latter. "We came up with the idea of putting a trail along side of US 41, and that idea was very well received," Buchholz said. It's a win-win situation for everyone."

The result is a new, eight-lane Lake Butte des Morts crossing, created by widening the existing causeway to the west. Buchholz said three through lanes and an auxiliary lane in each direction will improve the traffic flow between the WIS 21 and US 45 interchanges. Freeway lighting will span the entire causeway.

Buchholz said the new causeway is built for traffic volumes projected 20 years into the future. "The general feedback we've received so far has been very positive," Buchholz said. "I think once it's fully open, people are going to love it."