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Hobart expanding Centennial Centre with land purchase

By Press Times Staff

HOBART – After meeting in closed session Tuesday, Oct. 6, the village board approved a development agreement with Bayland Buildings, Inc., to develop 65.7 acres of property recently acquired by Hobart from the Sorenson Family Trust.

Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said Bayland’s development of the property over the next 10 years will be in partnership with the village.

Kramer said this unique partnership is aimed to bring non-residential, mixed-use (commercial and professional office) developments to the area, and will be known as the Highway 29 Business District in Centennial Centre.

“We at Bayland are excited for this opportunity – we have been involved in several projects over the years in Centennial Centre and have seen the population increase dramatically,” said Brian Peters of Bayland Buildings. “Now we see the need for retail and professional services to meet the desires of this growing community, and we are happy that we were able to reach an agreement with the Village of Hobart.”

This drawing includes nearly 66 acres of property the Village of Hobart has purchased from the Sorenson Family Trust to continue and finalize the development of the Centennial Centre area. Submitted Illustration

Centennial Centre in Hobart was created in 2009 in an effort to develop a residential, commercial and industrial hub for the northern part of the village.

At its creation, the entire area, which was formed into a Tax Increment District (TID), had a total of less than $21 million in taxable property.

As of this year, the TID’s property tax base has grown by nearly $200 million to $218,957,800, making it one of the most successful TIDs in Wisconsin.

“The growth of Centennial Centre has exceeded even the wildest hopes when it was formed a decade ago,” Kramer said. “In just the last two years alone it has experienced a growth rate of almost 30 percent, which has translated to more housing options and job opportunities for its residents. This land acquisition is a fitting final chapter in the TID’s growth and development, and we look forward to our partnership with Bayland Buildings to bring exciting new opportunities and options to that area of Hobart.”

He said the purchase of the property and the partnership with Bayland will continue the growth of Centennial Centre.

In the spring of 2021, Kramer said work will commence on the State Highway 29-County Highway VV Interchange that will dramatically increase the potential for this property and the surrounding community.

He said the interchange, which is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2022, will also provide considerably safer access to and from Highway 29.

“The village’s acquisition of this acreage underscores its commitment to secure its tax base, as well as that of Brown County and the Pulaski Community School District,” said Village President Rich Heidel. “Equally important, this purchase also capstones the village’s more-than-10-year effort at enhancing transportation security at the State Highway 29-County Highway VV intersection. The village sees this real estate transaction as being absolutely essential to the success of the current interchange project, to the long-term safety of the traveling public, and to the village’s continued contribution in the area’s robust economy.”

In addition to the land acquisition expected to bring more commercial and mixed-use development to the area,

Kramer said the village is also committed to dedicating up to two acres of the property for a future park, which will be developed over the next several years.

Personnel approvals

In other action from the closed session, the board:

• Approved the hiring of Susan Davis as a part-time utility clerk.

• Approved the resignation of Paul Gehrke as a public works and utility crew member, effective Oct. 16, and also approved the posting of the position to accept applications for employment to fill the vacancy.

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