UP FRONT – Packers place

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 :: Up Front
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer
An artist's conception of the Titletown District looking at Lambeau Field from the east.

An artist’s conception of the Titletown District looking at Lambeau Field from the east.

The Packers have always been more than a football team to Green Bay.

Even more so, now, with the unveiling of a 34-acre mixed-use development that will transform the commercial district that surrounds Lambeau Field, creating a year-round destination generating non-football revenue for the team while also enhancing the quality of life for the greater Green Bay area.

Welcome to the Titletown District.

“With its size and location near Lambeau Field, (this) will be a draw that is very unique in our area and a wonderful public space for our community,” says Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy.

The Packers plan to invest $65 million in the Titletown District with total investment announced so far between $120 million and $130 million. Work is expected to begin later this fall and be completed in 2017.

The development follows a trend among sports teams to create a year-round use for the area around the stadium, which for an NFL team may be used just 10 to 12 times a year. It’s part of a strategy the Packers have been using since the 2003 renovations at Lambeau that included the Atrium, the Packer Hall of Fame and public meeting space.

“It’s a natural extension of what they started in 2003, when they made a conscious decision with the atrium and the community space,” says Kevin J. Vonck, director of the city of Green Bay’s economic development department. “They are developing something that will keep people coming to the area year round.”

A winter view of the proposed Titletown District.

A winter view of the proposed Titletown District.

The move also ties into the trend of developing a sense of place for a community, which is seen as a key element in attracting the next generation of workforce, which will often choose where it wants to live, then find companies in that area to work for.

At the core of the Titletown development announced earlier this fall is a 10-acre public plaza, that will feature fitness-related activities, cultural opportunities, a winter ice skating rink and team-inspired public art. It will also host festivities on game day.

On the commercial side, the Packers have secured the involvement of three key tenants around the
public square.

Kohler Co. will develop and operate a proposed, four-diamond hotel along Ridge Road that will be known as the Kohler Lodge. This will be the fourth hotel developed by Kohler Co. Hospitality & Real Estate Group, joining properties that include The American Club and Inn on Woodlake in Kohler, and The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Hinterland Brewery will build a 20,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant featuring a main floor
brew pub pairing farm-to-table culinary experiences with game day specialties. The exterior walls will be retractable for outdoor experiences — complete with heated concrete and heat lamps for the ultimate tailgating, event or concert environment. The brewery will produce 20,000 bottlesof beer annually.

Bellin Health is planning a 30,000- square-foot sports medicine facility as part of the district that will include Packers team physicians as part of its medical staff.

Future development on the remaining 16 acres calls for additional commercial and retail elements, as well as a residential component.

While Lambeau Field is in Green Bay, the new Titletown District will be developed in Ashwaubenon. Despite the unique boundaries that split the area, the project is expected to raise the profile for the entire region. Vonck says he expects it will provide a needed boost to the redevelopment of the nearby Military Avenue district as well.

“The Packers name and brand do a lot for this region,” he says. “We can attract businesses that might not otherwise consider Green Bay.”

LEARN MORE

To watch a video featuring the Lambeau development go to: packers.com/lambeau-field/titletown-district.html