Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Akcess Granted

Council issues a go for the Waterfront:

A new downtown office building and hotel will be coming to Oshkosh, following the Oshkosh Common Council’s approval of the conditional use permit for the Akcess Acquisition Group’s first two projects in the Waterfront Redevelopment Area.


The council’s approval on the 55,000-square-foot office building and the 98-room hotel gives Akcess the green light to build the two projects. The company is hoping to start construction on both projects next month.


I've discussed some of the issues about this before. The hotel concept is still a bit odd to me, but to be perfectly honest I haven't done all that much investigation into the matter. Maybe Akcess knows something that I haven't had the ambition to look for yet. The office building makes more sense to me ...

The Cherokee Partners half of the Akcess team appears to have a track record for building projects in areas of the country that have recently experienced enormous growth. Hopefully, they see the same potential in the Waterfront district.

The whole process has been kind of uninspiring. I was hoping for a bold, even risky, statement project (even thought I know full well that's too much to ask). Think about it: what buildings in town are the city's signature features? The Paine? The Museum? All fine places, but ancient ones. It'd be nice to develop the kind of area that would serve as the postcard shot for the foreseeable future, but it might necessary to take things conservatively for a while.

Then again, I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the recent building projects here in town, so maybe it's not too much to expect the breed of architects and urban planners working around here to improve.

We'll see ...

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