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Marketing Plan Moves to Common Council for Review, Approval

Community Development Authority OKs detailed marketing plan that will assist city in economic development, with final approval to come from Common Council.

The final draft of hired by the City of Muskego was given its blessing by the Community Development Authority (CDA) Thursday night. It will receive further scrutiny from aldermen and could be approved by April 24, when the council next meets.

Marketing firm Vierbicher Planners provided a critical overview of the city's commerce centers, and also recommended a timeline of tasks to help the city connect with outside businesses to bring them into the city.

City planner Jeff Muenkel told the CDA that much of the early work would come from current staff, and as budget time got closer, they could look at what additional costs might be required to continue to execute the plan.

What work is highest priority, and the timeframe suggested by Vierbicher, included the following:

High Priority Objectives

  • Starting local inventors / entrepreneurs club to bolster start-up business assistance and entrepreneurial support
  • Expand marketing of Muskego and Waukesha County revolving loan funds, explore coordinated application process.
  • Educate local potential entrepreneurs about available venture capital funds
  • Identify locations in City to develop leasable office space to support office and service business uses to Muskego in industry sectors that more closely match Muskego‚Äôs residential population base.
  • Begin a business referral program for residents or present City businesses that are responsible for referring a business to locate in the city
  • Examine permit and ordinance fees to determine if they may be deterring business, and make changes as appropriate.
  • In the business park, market the dwindling industrial space with outdoor storage capacity, and re-examine design guidelines and ease restrictions on interior properties that are not visible or offensive to other
    property owners.

Of particular note was another high priority item for Janesville Road:

"Establish public waterfront access park to anchor community shopping area, draw residents to Janesville Road, and support corridor businesses. Encourage higher density development near park space to leverage City investment and create identity node for the corridor. Explore assistance in site assembly and marketing redevelopment opportunities for parcels surrounding new park. Ensure that view corridor to lake exists for vehicular and bike/pedestrian traffic on Janesville Road."

As , the next possible spot might be the former Parkland Mall site. However, development will not occur there until ais resolved. In addition, lake access would exist about a quarter mile from Janesville Road, and not likely provide the 'view corridor' that the study recommended.

In addition, the study advised the city to continue an initiative to develop a hotel that supports business along the Moorland Road corridor over the next 24 months.
travel and business functions.

Other suggestions are well underway in the city, including providing more connections through bike and pedestrian trails or routes, and providing better connectivity in future development to help encourage Muskego shoppers to do so locally. The study called Muskego's current layout "very disjointed, and standard household trips are lengthened due to missing connections. In general, this forces people into their cars and once there, they can easily shop outside of the community."

The development of a new website, which was recently approved at council, was also recommended in the near term.

View the entire report, which is contained in the CDA meeting agenda, here. The recommendations are distilled on pages 85-100 of the report.

Rob Glazier April 22, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Denise, First of all thank-you for offering coverage of the Community Development Authority's work with the recent market study of Muskego. I did however want to be sure we clarify a point in your article. Originally, there was no emphasis, or priority, given to the lake park. In subsequent drafts Vierbicher put greater emphasis on the park because of a perception that it was now a "done deal". When CDA pressed them on this at the previous meeting they responded that since the park was now moving forward they sought to illustrate what would need to happen to support the investment made by the city. Vierbicher was clear that the park itself wasn't a priority but filling in development around the park would become a priority if the investment in land acquisition was made. It's a bit of a chicken vs egg conclusion to make development a priority after you spend the money but it's how the consultants explained escalating the park's importance and I wanted to be sure the proper context was given. In general, there were four main themes in the report - Moorland Corridor, Tess Corners, our two business parks and the "downtown" stretch along Janesville. There's alot of great information in this report. Let's not focus on the one hot-button topic in there but more on some fairly significant development opportunities throughout Muskego. I'd encourage the public to look through the report and to offer input to the Common Council as they consider implementation measures.
Rob Glazier April 22, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Also, I encourage the public to read the report in it's entirety. There is interesting information on Muskego's place in the region and it's profile. Avoid jumping to the end or you'll miss the big picture and a lot of the rationale behind the recommendations. It's not that long and you can make your own conclusions.
Denise Konkol (Editor) April 22, 2012 at 11:42 PM
There was no implication in this article what was emphasized during the meeting, only what a preliminary review of the 100+ page report covered. I would agree for everyone who reads the entire thing, different items may jump out at them. As time goes on, we will refer to this report as it (as you have mentioned) for its various focuses. We "jumped" to the end as it provides what priorities it distilled as well as a time table of suggested next steps.
The Warrior April 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Just don't read the part about a lake park off Janesville Road. That wouldn't be good. Don't want to miss the big picture. Read the whole thing. All 100 pages. Some light reading. Just stay away from the lake park idea. What page is that on again?
Lib Hater April 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I have long thought Muskego should partner with state,local and private sources to start a business start up incubator. The new business would get a very low rate of rent in its first 2-3 years in business and then a rising scale after that.
Dr. Jodie April 23, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Hate to bring up the sore subject, but as a "hotel" was mentioned, did anyone consider turning the" mansions" into bed and breakfast facilities so that the brick and mortar does not go to waste and still use adjacent area for lake access? Just a business on Janesville Road that would like to see the lake and also would like the area to be less "disjointed" as mentioned. Sure would be nice if the Dyer property could "bring things together". Wouldn't that be ironic?
Aaron S. Robertson, MSM April 23, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Lib Hater, that's a great idea! That really has the potential to prove to be the perfect formula needed to attract more business out here.
Rob Glazier April 23, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Dr. Jodie, I don't see why the property owners along there couldn't go ahead and do something like that with their property. Does seem like a neat idea. The hotel the analysts were thinking of was more of the big chain "anchor" type. But those properties on the lake could be developed just as you describe. Then the city wouldn't need to be involved and I think it would be much less controversial.
Rob Glazier April 23, 2012 at 03:22 PM
No, it wouldn't be good. The purpose of the study was to provide a city-wide analysis. If you want to focus on the lake park that's fine but you're missing lot's of great info.
Aaron S. Robertson, MSM April 23, 2012 at 03:25 PM
A hotel is a great idea. A chain hotel going up somewhere has been talked about for a while already. Another great idea to spur economic development and bring crucial outside spending into the city.
Denise Konkol (Editor) April 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I had seen the hotel recommendation, and if there would be a possibility at one of the lake homes, why not? I can't forsee a huge Holiday Inn sustained here, but that provides an interesting alternative, and it puts it close to businesses and restaurants. Great discussion!
Lib Hater April 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM
The house that was going to be purchased as part of the lake park idea would have been perfect for a bed and breakfast. I agree with Dr Jodie in that a stepped up effort to resolve the Dyer issue is in order.

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