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FROM THE EDITOR: Centennial Centre in Hobart is poised for success

By Ben Rodgers

What may seem like just another restaurant announcement couldn’t be more misunderstood when it comes to recent plans announced in the Village of Hobart.

HCD Investments and the village board recently reached an agreement bringing D2 Centennial Circle to one of the state’s fastest growing Tax Incremental Financing Districts located in Hobart.

A TID may be created by a municipality to fund improvements and redevelopment projects.

The land value before the TID is created is known as the tax base.

The amount the land value within the district has increased above the base value after improvements is considered the increment, which is then used to pay off the debt on infrastructure within that district, like Hobart’s new water tower, with property taxes going to the TID instead of the various taxing entities.

Essentially, tax revenues go into the TID to fund projects. When the TID is closed, all that value that was generated goes back onto the general tax rolls.

This is a tool municipalities use to generate growth, and some use it better than others.

Last year’s growth in TID No. 1 in Hobart, or the Centennial Centre, increased by $33 million, or 24 percent, mostly due to housing.

This year’s numbers should come out in August and more growth is anticipated.

That equates to roughly $150 million in value created in TID No. 1 since its creation in 2009.

It’s set to close and that value and any additional value gained will return to the general tax rolls in 2032.

So what does a restaurant have to do with the continued success of Centennial Centre?

Just about everything.

D2 Centennial Circle is a brave but calculated development that signals hopefully the first of many.

Centennial Centre is home to a plethora of housing, a sea of roofs of single-family homes and apartments.

What it doesn’t have yet is a strong commercial base.

There are no gas stations, grocery stores, hotels or other shopping opportunities in Centennial Centre, yet.

Currently the question about the arrival of that commercial base isn’t if, but rather when.

The villages of Hobart and Howard, together with Brown County, were awarded a federal grant to help complete the construction of a diamond interchange for State Highway 29 nearby Centennial Centre in 2021.

The total cost is expected to be near $30 million for the project with the feds picking up $20 million.

A key for businesses to come to an area is easy access in high traffic areas.

That’s why Dave and Buster’s is coming to Bay Park Square Mall in Ashwaubenon and not Main Street in Green Bay.

With easy access to a major highway, more businesses will come calling and Hobart can offer close proximity to a residential base with attractive packages for commercial developers.

HCD Investments understands this, and its stance about the pending success of D2 Centennial Circle is not regarding if it will be successful, but rather managing the pending success.

When other businesses see they can be profitable and consider the easy access with the completion of the new interchange, a commercial boon is inevitable.

Keep an eye on Hobart and Centennial Centre if you want to see a new urban center rise from farm fields in the coming years.

Because it’s not a matter of if, but when, and all signs point to a surge in growth in 2021 and beyond.

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