What Should Go Here?: Former Wisconsin Tourism Information Center

In What Should Go Here?, we take a look at a vacant property and ask the community what should go there. What's your vision for the former tourism center site? Let us know in the comments.

This week's "What Should Go Here?" property is the former WisDOT land that was home to a Wisconsin Tourism Center. 

The land was bought by Hudson Center LLC, a partnership among four local developers including David Robson and Brian Zeller of Greystone Commercial. The $1.3 million sale of the 16-acre property closed last week, according to Zeller.

Though the property was sold by the state for potential commercial use, the City of Hudson Common Council would have to rezone the property before any commercial development could happen. 

"The City of Hudson feels it would be premature for the state to sell the property for commercial development," Darnold told Patch a year ago. "Right now (the site) is zoned for public use and until we exhaust the potential for that use, hopefully, the city would retain the policy that was adopted in 2009 and continue using (the land) for the public."

In addition, the Gateway Corridor Commission has had its eye on at least a portion of the land for a possible transit station.


According to Darnold, the issue will be on the agenda at the next Common Council meeting on Monday, and he expects it to be referred to the city's Plan Commission and set for a public hearing.

So, the question remains: What should go here? Bus station? Shopping mall? Public safety building? Something else? Tell us in the comments.


Other What Should Go Here? posts:

  • Former Stewart-Anderson Hair Co.
  • For St. Croix Outpost
  • Plaza 94 End Cap
  • Former Blockbuster Location
  • Former Perkins Location
  • Nor-Lake Building


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Phil McGraw September 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Thanks, Michael, for posting the application. Is there a commercial buyer in the works, or is this re-zoning request made to assist the seller (developer) in marketing for one? Have all public use possibilities been exhausted?
Micheal Foley September 28, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Phil: Hudson Center LLC is the buyer. The sale closed last week.
Micheal Foley September 28, 2012 at 07:02 PM
... and here's the agenda for Monday's City of Hudson Common Council meeting: http://patch.com/E-p59h
Rolen Free September 28, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Nice to see CC 1 isn’t one of those bleeding heart liberals who is never wrong and takes defeat poorly. A person who can’t see the uniqueness of situations and those who do not see things from his vantage point be dammed. I’m glad he’s not one of those…
Reef September 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Few nights ago I saw a big doe hanging out next to the main building. The site should be made into a bus station to decrease the insane amount of 94 traffic during rush.
Phil McGraw September 28, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Yes, Michael, I know Hudson Center LLC owns it now. My question is whether they are requesting rezoning for the purpose of marketing it to potential commercial buyers, or if they already have one on the line...
Concerned Citizen #1 September 28, 2012 at 07:51 PM
just asking for consistency....council preaches consistency....here's a great opportunity to practice what they preached. I would have no problem with them rezoning it commercial it seems its the logical thing to do...I personal don't want a transit hub or light rail extension there, it seems like a waste to me, but whatever.
Paine Reliever September 28, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Well thought out plan guys. They have visions of "comercial gold" at the dog track site which is not in view of I94 and surrounded by residential development and yet want to preserve the public zoning for some of the most valuable potential commercial property we have fronting I94. This is well thought out planning?! What a complete joke. But it is true that they have boxed themselves in with the whole "comprehensive plan" worship. I am sure Lori Bernard will whine again how this pressure the council is receiving is unfair and offensive to her. Part of being an effective council is realizing when you may be wrong. Why would they make a transit station which would add traffic but not add any tax dollars to the best possible commercial space we have left?
Bingo September 28, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Does anyone else see that this is an opportunity to ADD to the tax base and not take away? Exactly the opposite of the school district's request. If all public options have been exhausted ( city, county, school, DOT, UWRF, etc.) then I think it would be in the city's interest to let it go commercial. The state sold the site I don't think the city is required to keep it public if there is no public entity interested.
Concerned Citizen #1 September 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM
but Jennifer remember the 2009 comprehensive plan...no changes shall be in direct opposition to the "the comp plan" and also remember, "...Darnold told Patch a year ago. "Right now (the site) is zoned for public use and until we exhaust the potential for that use, hopefully, the city would retain the policy that was adopted in 2009 and continue using (the land) for the public." No one shall go against Mr. Darnold and his many many years of expertise on this....
Bingo September 28, 2012 at 08:53 PM
You are correctly reiterating my point....all public options should be exhausted. Once all have been exhausted, it seems that the city could either rezone it or force it to stay public until such time as there is an appropriate use. I am sure that Dave Robson knew how it was zoned when it was purchased and that there was no guarantee of rezoning. He is a smart guy. He could sell it back to a governmental entity for a profit....I sort of like the idea of a bus station or a park and ride.
Carbon Bigfuut September 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Considering the current traffic along that area, a transit hub would be the WORST idea. And light rail? Even if rail did come across the river, wouldn't it make better sense to use the RR bridge, and put the rail stop out by Nor-Lake, where there are tracks already? Why do these light rail fanatics always want to cut into freeway space for their light rail?
Carbon Bigfuut September 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Any new park and ride would be better placed in the northeast corner of Carmichael and 94. There's a low area in there that would be well-suited for a parking lot. there's just too much traffic near Carmichael south of 94.
Carbon Bigfuut September 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
What should go here? I'm going to shoot the first person that says "Trader Joe's".
Micheal Foley September 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Micheal Foley September 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Actually, I'd like to see an REI or Cabela's, but I don't think it's in the cards. Just a wish.
Brian Schousek September 29, 2012 at 02:26 AM
There should be space there for two Starbucks. Maybe three.
Rolen Free September 29, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Let’s remember this rezoning adds money to the City coffers. Unlike the SCM debacle that would have taken money from the City. That’s probably too logical for those people wearing their Raider Blue goggles to see but it’s true.
Bingo September 29, 2012 at 04:17 AM
While I appreciate all the interesting suggestions, it isn't really up to any of us, just like it wasn't up to the school to tell anyone where their school should go. We have heard some pretty whacky ideas of late of what different people think should go where. Rezone the school's UU property to commercial ( town of Hudson) in exchange for the dogtrack property (can you say city of Hudson?). Huh???? This piece of land belongs to a private group of investors and the city will be responsible for rezoning or not. It is not up to any of us what it ends up being. Am I missing something or just being a party pooper? If you want a Trader Joe's Foley, go find someone with some money or land or both and hop to it! This is sort of what the government does when it tries to figure out what they can do with someone else's money, and as we have learned, the sky is the limit when you are spending someone else's hard earned income.
Peter, Hudson, Wis. September 29, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Well, let's see ... Zoned for "public use," which leaves it a prime location for -- wait, wait -- a new school!
Bingo September 29, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Micheal Foley September 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Yep. You're just being a party pooper. Clearly we all know that we don't have the money and we don't get to make the decision. But it's fun for community members to talk about what they would like in their town. If nothing else, perhaps the people who do have the money might see the ideas and start research to see if any of them could be moneymakers for them.
ThingsThatMakeYouGo-Hmmmm September 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM
A serious suggestion: an innovation and small business training center....with programs from IRS (tax informational centers), UWRF (business programs), SBDC small business development center, and the volunteer service corp of SCORE. Highway visibility, lots of parking & easy access to the highway, bringing those from both within the state and outside the state. The facility is already set up for ease of distribution of materials. This would facilitate state initiatives to support business growth.
Bingo September 29, 2012 at 06:07 PM
What about technical school options? Seems like it would be an amazing spot for that. Lots of possibilities, but someone in the public sector has to want it and buy it. Otherwise I suppose it could be left public until such time that someone has a need for it. Was it purchased with a preconceived idea that it would be rezoned commercial?
quizno100 September 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Sorry, but if LR or a transit station is going to reduce traffic on 94 where one might ACTUALLY notice a difference, then please give me what ever those folks are drinking. Seriously?
GD Freethinker October 01, 2012 at 07:40 PM
How about a non-budget hotel with a decent restaurant?
Phil McGraw October 02, 2012 at 01:38 AM
What would the draw be to fill up a finer hotel here in Hudson?
SP October 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Lunds or Kowalskis. We're already paying high proces, might as well get the quality service and selection that go with it at those places.
Karen Schmeets October 28, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Neil Phillips November 09, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I'm with you, Paul. Maybe something for the teenagers and "kids at heart adults"?


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