Green Lake digests new ideas for growth

Downtown Green Lake

Green Lake’s “next big thing” could be an auto dealer. Or a department store.

At least, those are suggestions being made by a planning firm that’s working with the city.

Vierbicher Associates Inc. has submitted its 98-page economic development strategic plan and a 45-page market analysis for the city of Green Lake, jam-packed with information and insight into where Green Lake is in terms of economic vibrancy; the pros and cons of the present state; and the possible opportunities ahead.

It’s a lot for city officials and movers-and-shakers to digest, but the information from Vierbicher makes clear a few basic points: the city’s population is aging and shrinking; there’s a lack of well-paying jobs to attract year-round individuals; and the city may do well to encourage new business and development.

Download the full report HERE.

Compared to four surrounding communities (Princeton, Markesan, Berlin and Ripon), the city of Green Lake has the lowest population (951), the highest median age (53.5) and the highest median home value ($139,000), according to Vierbicher.

“Green Lake’s retail market trade area does not extend more than a few miles beyond the city limits,” the strategic plan reads. “Being surrounded by larger communities on all sides restricts the types of services and retail goods a community like Green Lake can provide. However, there are retail opportunities in the automobile dealer, health and personal care, and general merchandise sectors ... In some cases, regional or national brands will locate in [small and medium-sized communities] depending on traffic counts and population base.”

According to Vierbicher, some potentially untapped areas of consumer demand could include an automobile dealer, health and personal care store, general merchandise store/department store, electronics and appliance store, and clothing stores ... Find out why these ideas could work in Green Lake, and hear feedback from Mayor Jon McConnell, only in the Oct. 22 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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