The Big Idea(s)

The communities that make up the Fox Cities are collectively impressive, but have their own projects and big ideas to help continue to catapult the area into further greatness.
 From play to practical, below are those big ideas:


Imagine Fox Cities Strive to Thrive

Mayor Jake Woodford

Looking ahead to 2023, one of the biggest ideas for the City of Appleton will be deploying $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Appleton was allocated nearly $15 million in ARPA funds, and in the coming year we will be putting those dollars to work in several priority areas. This represents a truly unique opportunity to do critical work in areas that will benefit the entire community both directly and indirectly. Appleton has already dedicated just under half of the money to purposes like infrastructure and public health, more specifically to eliminate lead water service lines.
To improve the quality of life for our residents, we will support the development of additional affordable housing supply ($3M), early childhood development and childcare resources ($1.5M), community wellness & mental health services ($1M), fostering belonging and neighborhood enhancement ($1M), and support for arts, culture, and educational institutions ($500,000). Our work will focus primarily on bolstering efforts of partners, ensuring that the City plays its role in supporting the conditions our community needs to thrive.

Fox Crossing

Amanda Geiser, Director of Parks & Recreation, Village of Fox Crossing

O’Hauser Park is currently host to an 18-hole disc golf course. It was originally established in 1992, so we are celebrating 30 years of disc golf in Fox Crossing (known as the Town of Menasha at its inception) this year! O’Hauser is one of the top and most competitive disc golf courses in the region. This is a pay-to-play course and all improvements are funded by user fees collected from players (we sell daily and annual passes). The course is open year-round and maintained through the winter. Since the pandemic started in 2020, the popularity of disc golf has sky-rocketed as has shown no signs of slowing down. We have a great course liaison who volunteers a tremendous amount of time at the course making it what it is today. His name is John Terlap.
As mentioned, O’Hauser is considered a fairly competitive course. In its current state, newer players may feel overwhelmed by the current course layout. The hole distances are long and it can be very challenging to the players just starting the sport. In an effort to accommodate all skill levels, we are hoping to install an additional 9 holes to the park and create a beginner level course. This addition will have shorter distances to the basket, much more suitable to the new player. Work on the new 9 holes will be a joint effort between player volunteers and parks and recreation staff. We hope to have the work completed by fall of 2023.


Grand Chute

PURE Architecture Studio, LLC

Mike Patza, Community Development Director

In early 2022 the Town of Grand Chute approved development plans for North End Luxury Apartments located at 4155 N. Galaxy Drive. Located on the periphery of a growing commercial district along I-41 and STH 47, the development includes the first mixed-use residential and commercial building in the Town. The site provides easy access to numerous commercial destinations and connections to the local and regional bicycle and pedestrian network.
The first phase of development is under construction, which includes a 122,500 sq. ft. mixed-use building featuring 77 apartment units, approximately 11,000 sq. ft. of first-floor commercial space, first-floor indoor parking, a connected pedestrian network throughout the development, and other open space and recreational amenities for residents. The first phase of construction is scheduled for completion in late summer/early fall of 2023. The Master Plan for the site includes future phases of development for two additional residential buildings and associated site improvements on the west side of the site.


Village President Jack Anderson

Greenville is looking to renovate their village hall. The building, which has served as the center of the municipality since 1990, is currently being reviewed for needed improvements and to ensure it meets the needs of a growing community for many years to come. With a rapidly growing population, demands for additional secure office space is an ongoing issue. In the last five years, the community has added temporary offices to accommodate the needed staffing requirements, but this was at the expense of giving up capacity for village meetings as well as a space for citizens and community civic organizations to use for a variety of events. Additionally, constant issues with HVAC equipment have been noted with plans to replace features that have reached end of life.
In August 2022, the Village Board approved a partnership with Kueny Associates of Pleasant Prairie, WI for architectural and construction management of the project. Pre-design work to determine the go-forward requirements of the facility will be complete by the end of 2022. Designs will be brought forward for review with construction to occur through 2023. Funding for the project has been determined to come from ARPA funds awarded to the community.


Abacus Architects, Inc.

Mayor Tony Penterman

The City of Kaukauna Common Council unanimously approved a developer’s agreement this summer to move forward with the construction of a new apartment complex located on the currently vacant lot at 222 Lawe Street. This project was previously slated as a hotel/apartment development, but after dealing with current supply issues, the scope switched direction.
As approved by Council, this development will include two 5-story 90-unit (180-unit total) market rate apartments. The apartments are luxury class A units and will incorporate high-end amenities like wood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, balconies, and more. Apartments will range from studio size to 3-bedroom units. The complex will also include underground parking, as well as surface parking on-site. The developer has a strong interest in green buildings. From concept to design to construction, this building will be a net zero project. Notably, it will be one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the state (and top 1% of multi-family buildings in the country)!
A hotel project is still in the hopes of City staff, however after some project repositioning and a market study, a hotel appears to be a better fit near the highway 41 corridor. A groundbreaking is still planned for this year with completion of the project anticipated for fall of 2023.


Village President Chuck Kuen

The Big Idea for the village of Kimberly for 2023 centers on the continued redevelopment of the river front. As redevelopment of the former Paper Mill site progresses, 2023 will reveal the extension of the effort reaching to the east with condominium living opportunities presented in unique and beautiful designs.
As the development springs behind the building that formerly housed Shopko, the folks at Festival Foods will be renovating that building with an anticipated opening in the fall of 2023. This is exciting news for the community and their decision to operate in Kimberly is a welcome one for sure as it blends so well in our continuing quest to be a walking friendly community.
We are also looking forward to revitalization of the downtown with the addition of beautiful planter boxes, updated benches and more. This added beauty will bring continuity to the businesses that call Kimberly Avenue home and will extend through to the redeveloped mill sight. The Redevelopment Authority and Kimberly Economic Development committees continue to work at maintaining and revitalizing the business districts within the vibrant community.
The ongoing “big Idea” for the community is maintaining our 106 acres of park land, offering services and programs that reach our diverse and active residents, all in keeping with our mission of maintaining Kimberly as a great place to live, learn, work and play!


Parkitecture + Planning

Mayor Don Merkes 

Our quality of life here in Menasha is linked to our natural environment and our stewardship of it. Our connections to the Fox River and Lake Winnebago, once vital to industry, are now central to recreation. Capitalizing on our waterfront, Menasha will embark on projects with the capacity to enhance our waterfront reputation in a way not seen since the digging of the downtown marina.
The largest, a $5 million makeover of Jefferson Park, will enhance the playground, pavilions, softball diamonds, and boat launch along with adding a social space and fire pits. The regional playground will be more than double the size of the existing structure, with a capacity of over 200 kids, will be waterfront themed and incorporate inclusive play structures that everyone will be able to enjoy. The social space will host our popular Brews on Bago beer garden as well as being available for rental or casual use and will include games for adults and fire pits. Pavilions will be upgraded and a new pavilion will be built near the softball diamonds. Upgraded softball diamonds will increase capacity for league and recreation program play for all ages. The boat launch will be rebuilt to attract fishing tournaments to Menasha. This project is made possible with ARPA funding ensuring that our residents will have access to safe, healthy, outdoor spaces. This and other planned projects will ensure that we maintain the status of “your place on the water.”


Mayor Jane B. Lang

Neenah has a rich history of big ideas, and one thing we’ll be focusing on in 2023 is the celebration of our 150 th anniversary of incorporation as a city. Our community has amazing history that really sets it apart. We are the birthplace of so many innovative products, ideas, and developments. Products linked to Neenah can be found all around the globe, and individuals who have contributed significantly in art, music, film, architecture, literature, and scientific discovery claim Neenah as their hometown.
In 2023, Neenah is celebrating its 150 th birthday with a series of fun activities and events throughout the year. The Neenah Police Department will be hosting an exciting search for unique commemorative coins throughout the 52 weeks of the year. Additional activities include a photo contest, historical bike and walking tours, 150th brew challenge for our two craft brewers in the city, an exciting end of the summer birthday party, and much more. We have so many reasons to be proud of the City of Neenah. Its wonderful history inspires us and encourages us to continue to focus on building the best possible legacy for future generations. Cheers to Neenah on 150 years, and here’s to at least 150 more!

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The Big Idea

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