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Downtown Oconomowoc development

May 2, 2011

The City of Oconomowoc is pursuing two redevelopment projects downtown through nontraditional means. Supporters of the project hail the proposals as a catalyst to enliven downtown. What do you think?

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Chad Brown | Oconomowoc
Jul 19, 2012 8:29 AM

It seems completely obvious that to get our downtown working again, there has to be people that live and need its services. Please move forward with the project. Once again, Mr. Morgan is completely blind to the actual needs of the community, and while I don't want to get personal, he needs to either get in step with the world around him, or step aside and let fresh thinkers do some work for the city. Parking is and will continue to be an issue that I hope is addressed but there is no reason to park if there is nothing to go to downtown. Thank you council and Mayor Daley!

Sue Fulmer | Oconomowoc, WI
Jul 19, 2012 9:58 AM

Concerning the Rockwell development, what land would the city acquire for parking?

Paige Brunclik | Focus editor/reporter
Jul 19, 2012 10:39 AM

Sue, The city said it plans to use the former Rockwell site it will acquire as space for parking. The mayor said parking will be the number-one priority for the city as it moves forward with its part of the agreement. If you haven't had a chance to read coverage of the meetings, you can read it here: and the city also shared a powerpoint of details of the Rockwell and Worthington plans and that found on our homepage under top stories. Hope that helps, Paige

Jul 19, 2012 1:08 PM

Why is ocon. continuing to work w/ the Rockwell group. Ten years after first proposed they have zero credibility. Why did Ocon. not offer the new site (next to the lake) to open bids instead of trading (fleecing city taxpayer) a prime site for a inferior site (was this a one for one exchange???). The WI ave. site, why jump now at this less than underwhelming proposal 55 units @$2.9 million and rather see if other possibilities present themselves after the Community center is built. The mayor somehow thinks if only gov't were more efficient then the downtown would awaken-"sleeping giant". Let the market work and try to adhere to highest and best use not the first proposed use. Sidenote-who wrote the headline "Build it, they will come"???? 12 years after the "Dream Team" projected water gondolas and boutique hotels we get???

Mark Fischer | Oconomowoc
Jul 20, 2012 9:30 AM

I think it is about time the city uses the Fowler Lake shore area for something other than a parking lot. I do not think it should cost the City a dime to do this deal, or the one across from the beach. The city will be making money on this deal, long term, but the developer will not be doing this at a loss either. As far as the height goes, I believe higher as better than wider for the sake of the land itself, a smaller footprint will impact the land less, even roof runoff. Parking and garage doors should only be away from the lake side.

Dave Manke | Oconomowoc
Jul 23, 2012 5:18 PM

We need to move forward. Our downtown is an area that is HIGHLY under utilized. A pot hole laden parking lot with a weathered 'boardwalk' next to a lake, what a waste! If you want parking, park behind the mall next to The Depot. Once Rockwell gets done, deck this area with a pedestrian mall or a 3 story mixed use structure that ties into the back of the mall. We could have Moonlit movies there. When I go to similar d-towns like Cedarburg or Fish Creek I ask why isn't my area like this, ALIVE. Yes we have the Gallery Nights and Street Dance but those are special occations. What about a continual pulse in downtown? It isn't there. The question I don't want to ask is why is Amalia's closed? What happened to Beverly's, Roots, Whelan's or Glossi. Why has all the "action" moved to Pabst Farms? Yes, I foolishly believe that will take off in time. The time is now. Developers are looking at us and want to spend $$ here. Let's create some jobs in our community and not just be a bedroom community. I appreciate what Mayor Daley and the council is doing and will do my best to support them and businesses that are here and coming.

Dave | Oconomowoc
Jul 27, 2012 9:41 AM

I agree with Bill.If the city wants to developed the parking lot behind city hall we should put it out on the market to other developers to get best price for prime lake frontage and possibly a better development. We already have empty lots the city owns by the round about we can use for parking. we don't need to swap land. And you know once this deal goes through the city will want to build new city hall/police station because of inadequate parking for city or court business. Which tax payers will flip the bill for again.

B. Wright
Jul 31, 2012 11:43 AM

I love what the city is doing. I think it is in good taste, modern without being crazy. I think the color provided by the floral medians adds real beauty and elegance.

J Berger | Oconomowoc, Wi.
Aug 05, 2012 8:24 AM

Imagine standing at the train depot and looking north at a large pedestrian mall with the Zion church framed on Fowler lake. This idea was a project a friend proposed as a part of his architectural classes at UWM in the '70,s. Yes, it would be necessary to lose some buildings on Wisconsin avenue, however, we could almost double available retail space and still have room for parking structures. This is just another idea, but if you are going to re-do the downtown, you must do it properly. Ps. fowler lake had the best natural ice for speed skating in the midwest. Put the rink back where it belongs.


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