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Lake Geneva Takes On A Revitalizing Downtown Project

The Lake Geneva Economic Development Corporation recently purchased the Traver Hotel and surrounding property located at 323 Broad St., Lake Geneva, with the plan to demolish the run-down building and return the property to a vacant, seeded lot. It will then be put back up for sale. Andy Dammeir, executive director of the L.G.E.D.C., hopes business interests will take notice of the prime property.

“This will remove an eyesore from our thriving downtown area, will get this property back on our city tax rolls and will, in the near future, add full-time job opportunities and economic growth for the City of Lake Geneva and Walworth County,” Dammeir said. “This will be a very desirable location for a new business to construct anything from retail, restaurant or professional suites and will help with the betterment of the City of Lake Geneva.”

Hazardous material removal is underway and the building will be taken down in February. As soon as all hazardous material is cleared and the site is safe again, Dammeir hopes it will sell.

This building and surrounding property are part of the City of Lake Geneva’s Tax Increment Financing District 4, meaning the City assessed the site and decided this project would not have otherwise been able to move forward without the assistance of this financing. The City’s decision to use T.I.F. provides site development incentives to encourage the elimination of blighted properties in order to revitalize the city’s business district.

“Many communities have utilized this development tool to beautify areas like this and attract desirable business investment that provides additional property and sales tax revenues to that area. Depending on what gets developed on this site, it can also have a multiplier effect on the businesses surrounding that property from increased foot traffic and visibility, “ said Derek D’Auria, Executive Director of the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA).

This particular district was created to alleviate existing and anticipated traffic congestion. It will clear thoroughfares, make traveling in downtown Lake Geneva easier and more enjoyable, create full-time, long-term jobs and bring more life into the community.