Downtown Oshkosh has always been a source of pride for the city, as well as the center of a vibrant cultural and economic community. That rich history forms the foundation for a dramatic transformation of our downtown. With the new Downtown Action Plan as a guide, the community is proceeding with a coordinated effort of public and private investment to revitalize the downtown Oshkosh waterfront.
One of the keys to continued growth for downtown Oshkosh is having it remain a destination. To generate increased visitor traffic while encouraging enhanced convention and tradeshow business, the Downtown Action Plan recommends expansion of the Oshkosh Convention Center, and expansion and development of Riverside Park. The plans for the park include expanding it east to Broad Street to encourage the growth of Waterfest and other economically stimulating events. The Action Plan calls for the construction of a band shell and the creation of a riverfront promenade from Main Street through the expanded park.
Now that the project is complete, an array of events use the new facilities and expanded space. Today, Waterfest, Irish Fest, the Fall on the Fox Festival, Oktoberfest and many more great events call Riverside Park home.
The Pioneer Drive project is designed to maximize the community’s linkage to one of our greatest assets, the Fox River. The bold incentive calls for abandoning the portion of Pioneer Drive immediately adjacent to the Fox River, facilitating the redevelopment of public access to the Fox River and creating a riverfront pedestrian promenade on the south side of the river. The promenade will complement a similar development project on the north side of the Fox River and create a system of local trails and pedestrian walkways benefitting both community residents and visitors. Ninth Avenue will be extended to the east to connect vehicular traffic to the Pioneer Inn.
Riverwalk Design and Development
The Fox River has always been a great asset for the City of Oshkosh, and it’s time to celebrate it. Until now, Oshkosh’s revitalization efforts have focused on land-based improvements and redevelopment. With the successful opening of the Riverside Park Leach Amphitheater, increased developer interest in key riverfront redevelopment parcels, planned bridge replacement, and the pivotal reinvestment in downtown by businesses and the community-at-large, the focus of revitalization has now broadened to include the riverfront. A comprehensive riverwalk plan was developed and approved Jan. 24, 2006.
Currently, the riverwalk is under construction along with the City Center Hotel, which recently went under new ownership and will acquire a new name shortly. Once this project is completed, the area will be an excellent gathering point for the local community and visitors to the area. With beautiful outdoor scenery, new thriving businesses entering the area, and an array of communal areas, the riverfront in Oshkosh will truly be transformed. There will be plenty of new places to dock boats and jet skies. There will be added spaces for fishermen to enjoy the new development, along with rows of benches to allow residents and visitors to stop and enjoy the riverfront area. Great things are happening along the waterfront in downtown Oshkosh.
For more information on the Fox River Corridor Riverwalk plan and design guidelines, please download these documents: