FITCHBURG (WKOW) – The U.S. Highway 14 Lacey Road in the City of Fitchburg is now open and will serve as a gateway to Uptown.
The $19 million dollar infrastructure has been in the works for about 15 years and will be the new gateway to Uptown, a new 450 acre development that will help grow the residential community and promote businesses on the east side of Fitchburg.
Shawn Pfaff, the City of Fitchburg Mayor, said, "Uptown will be home to a major business center. The public/private partnerships have forged ahead to bring us to this historic day where we can now say: Madison has downtown and now Fitchburg will have Uptown."
About 150 apartment units are under construction and another 300 are planned. Discussions are being made with grocers, hotels, retails and restaurants. In addition, a new Meriter Medical Clinic is also expected to take part in the new urban development.
"We are always looking to the future and to finding ways to improve access to primary care," said Kevin Snitchler, Meriter Assistant Vice President Facilities Development.
Within the new urban development, the city is introducing cycletracks to make it more accessible for cyclists. Dave Schlabowske, Communications Director for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, said "Cycletracks are the next generation cycle facility being installed in the most bicycle-friendly cities around the United States. The additional segregation from motor vehicle traffic provided by cycletracks has proven to attract a much wider range of people interested in bicycling than basic paint-only bike lanes."
Scott Kelly, Uptown Developer and Owners Representative, said, "We have movement already and it boils back to, if you can step up, put in the infrastructure, we've got a proven place a mile south of the beltline. We are very excited about Uptown."
City of Fitchburg officials said Uptown will be a new urban development that will soon be a thriving economic place for Fitchburg. The $19 million interchange will promote the next 20 years of growth for the City of Fitchburg.
The City of Fitchburg is leveraging nearly $200 million in tax increment created in the Fitchburg Technology Campus and the Promega's Fitchburg Center over the past ten years to continue the development. Mayor Pfaff said the new urban development is expected to be paid off in 2025.
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