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What do you want to see developed in Appleton? Thrivent wants to know

Posted at 4:48 PM, Sep 19, 2023
  • Thrivent has 600 acres of land to develop in Appleton.
  • They want the community’s opinion; they’re hosting an open house.
  • Mayor Woodford called the opportunity “rare.”

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Thrivent’s campus sits on 600 acres of land in Appleton, but they haven’t needed that much space since the pandemic. Now they’re looking at new ways to use that land. I’m Olivia Acree, your Appleton neighborhood reporter and I sat down with Thrivent to hear what they envision for the Thrivent Ballard Community plan.

“We were looking at our facility needs and the land surrounding our facility and we came to the conclusion that it was a good time to do a master plan for developing this land,” said Eric Merriman, Thrivent's director of real estate.

Neighbors in Appleton might start hearing a lot more about Thrivent.

Merriman says with help from the community they're exploring the future of their Ballard campus.

“The best result for thriving and for the community is to get community input so that we can create a solution that everybody's on board with,” Merriman says.

To get that input, they’re hosting an open house.

Right now, the 600 acres only has two buildings on it. The rest is farmland, wetland and open spaces.

Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford tells us this kind of development opportunity is rare.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community. It's rare that such a large acreage is opened up for future development and that is a really exciting opportunity for us,” Woodford says.

Although Thrivent Ballard is a private master planning project. They want the design to fit the needs and interests of the community and the company. Woodford says he’s happy about the collaboration.

“Any opportunity for us as a community to have new thoughtful development in ways that enhances the quality of life of our community and grows our tax base is a really good thing for Appleton,” Woodford says.

It’s too early in the process to know what might occupy Thrivent Ballard in the future and they haven’t decided what will happen to their existing two buildings, but they’re excited, and open to ideas.

“Kind of kicking off this whole process of figuring out what's possible,” says Merriman.

The open house is Tuesday night at Thrivent's campus, and they want to hear what the community thinks about their plan.

In Appleton, Olivia Acree NBC 26.