For Investments from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018
Each year, the Chamber assesses business growth in the city by calculating financial investments from new construction, major renovations, or additions to existing facilities. And business is still booming in Fort Atkinson.
2018 is definitely the year of the restaurant, and thanks to these industrious entrepreneurs, Fort Atkinson has a greater diversity of dining options than we’ve ever had. From fast food, like Domino’s, Arby’s, Dunkin’s, and McDonalds, which are all investing in new or revitalized spaces, to expansions of Paddy Coughlin’s, the conversion of Capn’s to The Rustic, a facelift to the exterior of Brock’s Riverwalk Tavern, and the switch from Kitcho to 99 Sushi, restaurants are investing $1.5 million in Fort Atkinson this year.
Continuing the trend from last year, financial services are another area where development has been strong. PremierBank remodeled their existing office areas, and Fort Community Credit Union is conducting a complete remodel and technological upgrade to its south branch, having done the same to its Madison Avenue location last year.
Automotive services had a good year in Fort Atkinson, too. K&F Auto moved their operations from Jefferson Drive near Opportunities (which also upgraded their office space), to a more visible location on Blackhawk Drive; and Butch’s High Lite Auto Body is beginning an extensive addition to include more space in their shop, estimating and office areas. Cloute Enterprises purchased the former Smith Motors building, and is in the midst of updating the bathrooms and adding a firewall so the front of the building can be available for another tenant. Those four companies spent nearly $600,000 in capital improvements, and that figure does not include additional equipment or technology purchases.
The Fort Atkinson School District went through a remodel at Luther Elementary to reconfigure space for a daycare, which also required the renovation of their Grove Street building to house the Crossroads program. The First Congregational Church remodeled a portion of their building for better layout of office space, and SSM Dean Clinic is finishing up a new addition to their Reena Avenue location to house a specialty clinic.
A few other honorable mentions include the newly refurbished Edward Jones office on Milwaukee Avenue, opened by financial advisor Julie Nachtigal, and the purchase and development of a 40-acre site on the northwest side of the city, intended to be the future home of the Crown of Life Christian Academy.
Finally, we are happy to announce that Fort Atkinson has some new venues for meetings and special events, thanks to the purchase of the former Central Coast building, now called RiverStone Premier Event Center. The Chamber just held our legislative breakfast there so those in attendance got to see the newly remodeled dance and banquet areas. Creamery 201, on the second floor of the Verlo building, continues to invest in more visible signage and accessible entrances, as well as the addition of office spaces on the third floor. They will once again host vendors for the chamber’s Holiday Open House and Market on December 1st. And of course, there is the new hotel and convention center, the just-opened Country Inn & Suites, which will be hosting the chamber’s final Business After Hours of the year, November 15. We’re also doing a ribbon cutting that evening, so it would be great to have you all in attendance for that.
The total investment of all that activity from September 2017 to August 2018 is just over $10,400,000.
Fort Atkinson has a great deal to be proud of. Please, join me in a round of applause for all the companies that have built this city through their continued investment in buildings, equipment, technology, and employees.