Updated: Jun 22
Guest Feature: Jimsi Kuborn
There are many types of projects that build and strengthen a community, and the Woodman's Sports and Convention Center is poised to be a transformative redevelopment project. When considering the dollars and cents of the Woodman's Center, let's not overlook the value today, tomorrow – and for years to come.
The public and private investments today multiply tomorrow's opportunities for new businesses, housing, additional family recreational venues, hotels, restaurants, and more, all for a growing tax base. The new facility also generates new spending from non-local participants and attendees that would not otherwise occur in northern Rock County.
Most individuals look at economic development strictly as a primary function of recruiting new businesses, finding developers to build, and investing in brand-new facilities. These efforts are fundamental for growing your tax base and creating new jobs. However, if a community turns its back on its existing assets, the effects can negate the impact of attracting new facilities, businesses, and workforce talent coming into our community. Not utilizing existing assets is not a comprehensive economic development model.
Maximizing an Existing Asset at Uptown Janesville
Left undeveloped, these massive structures become enormous eyesores and a drain to a community's tax base. Not only the loss of taxes from the abandoned facility, but also the risk of losing other businesses near this asset and the loss of a long-standing solid tax base.
An Undeniable Benefit to the Janesville Community
As our community grows and we look at how we value our families and local businesses and strive to keep and attract workforce talent, the desire for family-oriented recreation and entertainment will continue to increase. Without investing in existing assets (such as vacant mall space) as next-generation viable, relevant, and desirable uses, a community's economic development efforts are neither comprehensive nor diversified.
A similar situation comes to mind when we look back at the City's investment in the Town Square through its Rock Renaissance Area Redevelopment and Implementation Strategy (ARISE). ARISE has been a catalyst kicking off the revitalization of our core, our downtown. And now we can see that investment being fulfilled. The City taking that step, making that investment, showed the private sector its value in investing in our community as well.
Just as transformative as ARISE and just as viable, the future Woodman's Center at Uptown Janesville is a community asset located in a mature market with proximity to a strong, diverse client base and easily accessible for visitors via Interstate 39/90. The investment in the Woodman's Center today can have exponential and multiplying effects for new investments tomorrow.