By RYAN SILVOLA
TOWN OF BELOIT — Plans for an “uptown district” in the Town of Beloit are underway, as town officials have developed a concept map with Batterman.
Town Administrator Ian Haas held an initial concept meeting in February for community stakeholders to share their input on a potential uptown district.
Town officials invited area banks, retailers, county development officials, business stakeholders and more to the February concept meeting. For the second meeting, planned April 12, Haas is inviting those individuals plus any business or commercial property owners whose location is off Inman and Huebbe parkways.
He said since more than 90 percent of the town’s population lives within 1.5-2 miles of the corridor, the town is interested in making a plan to further develop the area. The primary area of focus is from Park Avenue to Prairie Avenue. Haas also would like to take a look at developing streets that connect to Inman Parkway.
Haas is hoping to have the town’s first Marketing and Economic Development Plan, which would include a uptown district concept, complete by mid-May.
“It’s a good time to assess, take stock and see where we want to go from here,” Haas said.
The original concept for the “uptown” idea came from Town of Beloit Fire Department Paramedic Casey Bellard. The name “uptown” refers to the fact that it would literally be north of the City of Beloit’s downtown area.
Town officials believe the area could eventually serve as a regional hub for shopping as well as an alternative to, or supplement for, the city’s downtown.
Haas said one option would be shared spaces in larger buildings in an industrial park. These buildings could house business starter areas. For example, electric and plumbing companies as well as companies needing a location for basic assembly and storage could use a shared space.
Other concepts discussed included retail spaces, grocery stores, a hotel and convention center and restaurants.