Altoona receives grant for downtown revitalization project

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 7:14 PM CST
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The City of Altoona is one step closer to starting a project leaders hope will help revitalize its downtown area.

The city received a state grant Wednesday worth $1,377,435 for the project.

The plan is to tear down two old buildings on Division Street. They will be replaced with an office, restaurant and retail incubator hub refurbished shipping container units.

Altoona City Administrator Mike Golat said the city will partner with Milwaukee-based “Containers Up” to build the units.

They’re geared towards start-up businesses, giving them a cheaper space.

The mixed-use space will also have an outdoor area with a stage for concerts and events.

Golat said the project will keep Altoona moving forward.

“Much of our attention has gone towards River Prairie in the past several years but investing in downtown and really in our city’s history, right next to the train yards, is going to be important to really continue that momentum that we’ve had,” he said.

The project may also benefit current downtown businesses.

Bob Adrian owns Rump’s Butcher Shoppe. He’s been in downtown Altoona for the past eight years.

“We’re going to get a bunch more exposure to customers inside and outside the area,” he said. “A thing like this could potentially bring in people from quite a distance because it’s something pretty unique so we’re looking forward to that.”

Adrian said potential development is part of why he chose Altoona when opening Rump’s.

“It wasn’t like I had to come to Altoona,” he said. “I could have went to any town around. But they really do want to promote business and a better quality of life for everybody.”

Golat said the project will cost about $1.7 million total. The city has the additional funds needed to complete the project.

The project is expected to be finished in the summer of 2023.

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