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Stevens Point seeing improved growth


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- There are some local signs the economy is better now than it was a year or two ago. Stevens Point’s Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski says they’ve seen a lot of new growth for both commercial and residential, and the trend seems to be continuing.

Ostrowski says several commercial projects have happened just recently. “We’ve had new growth continue with Mid-State Technical College, a new Honda dealership, a new Kwik Trip store, Culvers, and in addition, we’ve had a number of remodels that have taken place that have had a significant value. Sentry plans their remodel on their clubhouse, so we’re starting to see a lot of growth here in Stevens Point as well as the new Great Lakes facility (former Dunhams building).”

The Director says several smaller projects have taken place, too, leading to significant increases in value over the last two years.

The city is negotiating with a firm called CFS Group LLC for a possible multimillion dollar development along Division Street, but Ostrowski says he cannot disclose details until negotiations are completed and the proposal is sent to the appropriate city council committees.

Ostrowski says that’s not the only development he’s currently working on. “We continuously look for additional development. We do have a few more feelers out for the Division Street area as well as East Park Commerce Center, but we’re continuing to progress with those and hopefully, we’ll see some additional movement soon.”

Businesses are not the only ones picking up the development pace. Ostrowski says they’ve seen a rise in housing starts. “We actually only had about three housing starts in the beginning of this year, but last month we had a significant pickup with six new housing starts. I think a lot of that is attributable to the lack of available inventory on the market. There’s certain price ranges that are not really available in the Stevens Point market anymore, and people are finding the ability to build new and build what they want.”

Just this week, the city committees decided to recommend involving a realtor to help market unsold city lots in the Whitetail Subdivision. The full city council is likely to approve that next week.

(The interview with Michael Ostrowski can be heard on our website, here.)