Opening of Highway 14 interchange lays foundation for growth, say Fitchburg officials

A ribbon-cutting announced the opening of Fitchburg’s Highway 14 interchange, and city officials said its initial investment of $19 million for the roads and interchange will serve as the foundation for its next 20 years of growth. The interchange will be the gateway to Uptown, a 450-acre, bike-friendly central business district that will include 150 apartment units (now under construction) and possibly a future Meriter medical clinic.

In addition to the 150 apartment units under construction, another 300 units are in the planning stage. Avante Properties also is talking to grocers, hotels, retail and restaurants, and single-family home developers. Uptown will also feature new bike paths and a cycletrack, which is considered a next-generation cycle facility.

The project is the first Smart Code-designed, mixed-use neighborhood in Wisconsin, meaning it must meet certain design specifications yet still offer a degree of flexibility not normally associated with development projects of this size.

Overall, the city of Fitchburg is committing nearly $200 million in TIF created in the Fitchburg Technology Campus and Promega’s Fitchburg Center. The new interchange, part of a public/private partnership, will improve access to the Fitchburg Center, which is anchored by Promega Corp. and the Fitchburg Technology Campus. Promega's $100 million GMP Molecular Diagnostics Facility is under construction, and the new interchange will aid Promega’s continued expansion.