University of Wisconsin-Stout

May 20, 2010

A community stakeholder group, led by the University of Wisconsin-Stout, is moving toward its goal of seeing Menomonie’s downtown revitalized.

The group issued a request for proposal Wednesday seeking an action plan for a downtown mixed-use redevelopment strategy. Proposals are due June 2, and a consultant will be selected later that month. The consultant will be expected to make final recommendations to the group in December.

The goal of the effort is to define a comprehensive and market-driven strategy for redeveloping downtown. The consultant will define a shared university and community vision and analyze the retail, office and housing markets.

Based on these analyses, the stakeholder group hopes to strengthen and expand current businesses, attract new businesses, improve the downtown image through promotion and marketing and “enhance the appeal and attractiveness of downtown Menomonie’s public and private real estate.”

Some of the goals would be targeted for completion within five years while others would be long-term goals, taking more than five years.

Along with UW-Stout, members of the public-private partnership include the city of Menomonie, the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce, the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation, Dunn County, Main Street of Menomonie and Westconsin Credit Union.

The group has a website, http://www3.uwstout.edu/asls/redev/, which includes information on previous city and UW-Stout plans and studies.

Leading the effort is UW-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. “The vitality of downtown Menomonie is a concern for everyone at UW-Stout, which is why we are working with our community partners in this important initiative,” Sorensen said.

“I am convinced that we are taking the steps necessary that will give our community partners the tools needed to ensure a bright and prosperous future for downtown Menomonie,” Sorensen said.

A fall 2009 survey by the Applied Research Center at UW-Stout found that students, faculty and staff would most like to see better parking availability, more stores, a cleaner Lake Menomin and an improved overall appearance of downtown. For more information on the ARC, to go http://www3.uwstout.edu/arc/.

Members of the stakeholder steering group are Diane Moen, UW-Stout vice chancellor for Administrative and Student Life Services; Lowell Prange, Menomonie city administrator; Lisa Montgomery, Menomonie chamber director; Laura Short, Main Street of Menomonie director; Greg Lentz, Westconsin Credit Union president; Steve Rasmussen, Dunn County Board chairman; and Christopher Smith, Dunn County Economic Development Corporation director.

Menomonie Mayor Randy Knaack is excited about the possibilities. “We’re open to all positive movement for downtown. We want our buildings full and the atmosphere pleasant. We want to put Menomonie back on the map,” Knaack said.

For more information, contact Moen at 715-232-1683 or moend@uwstout.edu or go to http://www3.uwstout.edu/asls/redev/.

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