What is Opportunity Winona?
Opportunity Winona is a coordinated effort to energize downtown Winona by capitalizing on recent investments. We want to insure those and future investments support and create new and existing jobs, retail and residential activity. This is our chance to once again make Downtown Winona the jewel of the City.
How much will it cost?
We are in the very early phases of this project and right now are focused on how we can capitalize on the investment that is already taking place and concentrate on what needs to be done next. Once that happens we will be able to identify key projects, budgets, and how to best make it happen.
Who is paying for it?
The public and private sector will come together to not only create the added excitement but to also find the most effective ways to pay for it. In some situations, businesses will take the lead by expanding or redeveloping a building in a way that supports Opportunity Winona. There will be other elements that will require public funding, such as sidewalks, streetscape improvements, and other public infrastructure projects. The bigger goal is to create an environment that encourages public and private sector funding in a way that creates the best possible result for our community.
When will it be done? How long will it take?
The Levy Park Improvement project is already underway, and additional investment of $100,000 is planned for 2016. In addition, the City has approved new wayfinding signage in downtown for 2016. The City will also be improving areas under the bridge in 2016. This is a complex and important project that, while we need to complete it as soon as we can, it is most important to “get it right the first time”.
How will it be paid for?
We already have a strong public-private partnership committed to making this project a success. The group is looking at success stories from other communities in Minnesota and throughout the country. What did they do, how did they pay for it and what will work here in Winona? We need and want different tools available so as each individual project gets up and running, we have options.
Why is this happening now?
The downtown continues to be the heart of our City. It is a part of our community that right now coming back to life in a way that can energize the city for years to come. Downtown Winona is an important part of this community that belongs to everyone. We believe that continued strategic investments will help the city attract and retain jobs, residents, and will serve to energize Winona for generations. Bringing new ideas and investment to downtown is a way to help Winona be able to better compete with other communities across our region and the Midwest for jobs, investment, and people.
Who is in charge? Who decides what is included?
Opportunity Winona is supported by a diverse group of public-private interests from across the community. The Winona Port Authority has stepped to the plate and offered to manage the project and the leadership team includes the City of Winona, the Winona Chamber of Commerce, along with others from the business, education and health care communities.
Who is supporting this project?
List of supporters: City of Winona, Port Authority, Winona Chamber of Commerce, individual businesses, education and health care.