The Fox Cities Exhibition Center is a collaborative project between Appleton and nine other surrounding municipalities in the Fox Cites. The exhibition center is expected to generate an additional $6.5 million/year in economic impact in the region through new visitor spending.
Construction of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center will start this fall. This page contains links to meeting minutes and relevant updates on the project. That information can be found at the links below.
The Fox Cities Exhibition Center is a project 30 years in the making. Historical information about prior efforts to build an exhibition center in the Fox Cities can be found by clicking the historical information tab at the top left of this page.
The Fox Cities Exhibition Center will be built on the former St. Joseph School and convent site. Most recently the site was a surface parking lot utilized by Outagamie County. The City purchased the land from the county for the project. Located on Lawrence Street, Elm Street, 8th Street and bordered by Jones Park, the facility will be connected to the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel via a skywalk.
The City will own the building and the exhibition center will be operated by the hotel via a management
Designed by Fentress Architects, along with Zimmerman Architectural Studios, the Fox Cities Exhibition Center will be integrated into Jones Park. The 30,000 square feet of exhibition space will be located at the park level, which is actually below ground level. It will feature a patio area that extends out to meet the park. Additionally, a pedestrian plaza will be located at ground level on top of the exhibition space.
It will provide additional programmable space for use and add another unique element that will set the Fox Cities Exhibition Center apart from others around the country.
Along with Appleton, the communities of Grand Chute, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Little Chute, Menasha, Neenah, Sherwood, Village of Fox Crossing (Town of Menasha) and Town of Neenah have agreed to raise hotel room tax rates to fund the construction.
Appleton is investing four million dollars in the project. Two million was spent to purchase the land for the exhibition center from Outagamie County and two million in infrastructure improvements will be made to the streets surrounding the site. Additionally, the city is renovating Jones Park in conjunction with the project. Though both the infrastructure improvements and park renovations were already being planned prior to the exhibition center project. No tax dollars are being used to fund construction of the facility.
While construction of the facility is in progress, the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel will also be undergoing renovation. The timeline for those renovations is still being finalized. The owners of the hotel want the look and feel of the hotel to match that of the exhibition center.
The Fox Cities Exhibition Center is expected to be open by the fall of 2017.
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