May 12, 2016
Downtown Hartford Strategic Development Plan Project Advances
Hartford, WI – Downtown has quickly become the center of development interest in Hartford thanks to the hard work of a strong partnership of private, non-profit, and government leaders. The formation of a public-private Downtown revitalization implementation team to facilitate projects is helping stimulate development. Recent focus includes ongoing progress toward a Downtown hotel, the recruitment of brew pub tenant for the historic Millstream building, the purchase and renovation of several long vacant or underutilized buildings by local developers, and the formation of partnerships for development of key catalytic sites. Talk of a rejuvenated and lively Downtown Hartford is being heard throughout the community as residents look toward future Downtown growth.
It all started in the summer of 2015 when a coalition of non-profit, government, and private groups pooled their resources and efforts to hire Vandewalle & Associates –Milwaukee/Madison-based redevelopment, design, and urban planning experts to produce a Downtown redevelopment strategy. Together, the team developed a plan—the Downtown Hartford Strategic Development Plan—to serve as a guiding document that was adopted in February 2016 and is already translating into real development and improvements Downtown.
Quickly following the City Council’s Plan adoption, the project steering committee made way for an implementation focused project management team (PMT). The PMT is focused on stimulating investment interest in Downtown from both within and outside the community. The PMT is co-chaired by Mayor Tim Michalak and HADC Executive Director Tom Hostad. The PMT structure provides a true public-private partnership to draw on the necessary resources to advance Plan implementation. Both Mayor Michalak and Mr. Hostad have been long time supporters of Downtown Hartford investment and are excited by the potential this effort has to create real change. Mayor Michalak expressed his excitement with progress implementing the Plan saying, “Unanimous support of the City Council and members of the Hartford Area Development Corporation make this an extremely positive environment in which to invest and grow with a forward-looking community on the move.”
Fast forward to spring 2016 and the Plan has already seen a lot of interest and progress as projects begin to take shape. The PMT is actively working with a hotel developer interested in a Downtown hotel site adjacent to the Mineshaft (Wisconsin’s largest bar/restaurant), and the Jack Russell Memorial Library. Talks with the developer have been positive and the project is moving toward a targeted construction timeline. In addition to advancing the hotel development and recruiting developers/operators for the Millstream Brew Pub, the PMT continues to advance the Plan focused on reuse of Downtown priority sites working with property owners and developers to help them connect with the resources necessary to implement their vision and the community Plan.
Those looking for an opportunity to discuss Downtown Hartford revitalization further can contact Mayor Tim Michalak and HADC Executive Director Tom Hostad. To view the complete plan visit: https://ci.hartford.wi.us/DocumentCenter/View/1243 .
Mayor Timothy Michalak
City of Hartford , WI
109 N Main St Hartford, WI 53027