New Business Advancements in Central Wisconsin


Image of Development Plans from Retail Properties

Brooklyn Pagel, Hour 2

Is Central Wisconsin too boring? Or is there too much going on? Well either way it is expanding! From restaurants, to stores, to new apartments! Central Wisconsin is full of fun stuff to do and fun places to shop. While it has a lot, is it enough? Do you have to travel an hour and a half away just to go to some of your favorite stores and fast food places? Well with the new changes coming you may be in luck . The Central Wisconsin area is getting a lot of exciting new developments. 

Empty Space

Dunhams is the only open and functioning store in the retail space on HWY 10. Waste of space some people might say so Portage County is bringing the luxuries you can only get in Appleton to Stevens Point.

Stevens Point hasn’t had anything in the open retail space next to Dunhams in years and according to Retail Properties “New commercial development with approximately 250,000 square feet of retail space. Located at one of the highest traffic intersections in the Steven’s Point market.” To elaborate HWY 10 is one of the busiest highways in Stevens Point and Right now there is wasted space that can bring more to Stevens Point if it ever becomes something.

Mayor Mike Wiza of Stevens Point was able to share some important information regarding what the retail center has in store. “We’ll likely soon be getting a few mid-level box stores like Hobby Lobby, Five Below and Big Lots” This means that Five Below and Hobby Lobby will soon be filling that empty space creating a bigger shopping space and hopefully help the empty shopping center look a little less abandoned. 

To conclude, the empty shopping center that currently is only home to Dunham’s Sporting Goods on HWY 10 is now going to be getting some big business that will hopefully attract shoppers from all surrounding areas and offer new things to Stevens Point. 

Wausau’s Breaking the Ice

Wausau Wisconsin is considering plans for a Chick Fil A making it be the first city in Central Wisconsin to bring Chick Fil A closer. The closest Chick Fil A to Stevens Point, Plover and Wausau area is Appleton WI which is an hour and twenty minutes away. The community urges them to put a Chick Fil A closer to them. “The Rib Mountain Plan Commission met with a developer Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of building a Chick-fil-A restaurant on Rib Mountain Drive.” According to WSAW. This is showing that Wausau business council is listening to their community and trying to go through with plans to add a Chick Fil A into their town. While they planned on putting it across from Texas Roadhouse, the community argued that it already gets congested there and adding a Chick Fil A there will only make matters worse. WSAW states “While no action was taken Wednesday night, the developer will create a more specified design and site plan. The commission will also be looking for revisions addressing the traffic concerns.” To further explain Wausau business commission is trying to satisfy all the communities needs and making sure there is no backlash on where and how they choose to put the new desired Chick Fil A in. 

Another option is to put Chick Fil a where they originally planned but redo the lot to make Chick Fil A work in that designated area. WSAW states these potential ideas “Lokre said there is a lot of interest in the property and they hope to find the right fit for Rib Mountain. The property would need to be rezoned in order for the plans to move forward.” Continuing on with this the way they would be able to make Chick Fil A work right across from Texas Roadhouse would be rezoning the lot and making it easier to get in and out without congesting Rib Mountain Dr.

While the plans to put a Chick Fil A in are not final yet but they are making their way to that point. “plans are in the very early stages and are dependent on what the town of Rib Mountain decides,” says WSAW. To elaborate the Chick Fil A needs to get approval from the town of Rib Mountain and they can start on the building itself. To conclude Wausau is getting to the point of putting in a Chick Fil A that the community urges to put in. With some bumps in the road Chick Fil A is moving along. 

More Beneficial or More Hurtful?

New businesses coming to Central Wisconsin can be looked at as more hurtful to other surrounding businesses but are they more beneficial rather than hurtful? 

Businesses have several benefits to the city. The first is job creation. Providing jobs for people is critical to our economy. They also create value/ pay taxes which helps us provide all of the services we do. Finally, it provided services to our residents. Whatever the business, there are residents who use their products or services and that helps create a better quality of life for the people who live in this area.

Mayor Mike Wiza is stating that providing jobs into the community is a big part of his plan. Potential concerns with adding so many new businesses could be that they negatively affect already running businesses. Mayor Mike Wiza can disagree on this by stating “Many times the businesses can help each other” So he is saying that the businesses will build and grow off of each other and make the entire community better as a whole. While being asked if the community will react to all of the new developments positively he stated, “we have to remember that our city is made up of all sorts of people and just because it may not be a big deal to you, to someone, it is.” In other words the Mayor is trying to keep the peace and keep everyone having an open mind by saying if it doesn’t benefit you it benefits someone. All in all the community could look at the new developments either way whether you take them as good or bad everyone has a use for the new businesses coming to Central Wisconsin.

In conclusion, Central Wisconsin is getting new businesses that all around benefit us. The population currently according to Wisconsin Demographics is 70,378. Some people might argue that’s not enough to keep expanding and bringing new business but some might say it’s opening up new opportunities. Opportunities or not Central Wisconsin has big plans ahead.