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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Economic and Land Use Impacts Study of State Trunk Highway 29: Phase I Chippewa Falls to Abbotsford, Wisconsin

Owen (profile as of mid 2002)

Clark County

Map of Wisconsin showing the location of the City of Owen and the city's location relative to Highway 29. (2002)

Population: 936

Highway 29 expansion completed: 1997

Photo of rail tracks and a road crossing in Owen. (2002)]

Owen is a prime location for businesses that need access to both rail and a major highway. (2002)

Located only a mile from the Village of Withee, the welcoming City of Owen provides a natural setting for an array of recreational activities. Visitors and locals enjoy walks along the Popple River, tee time at the local golf course, and picnics in the park.

Community Perception of the Highway Improvement

The consensus in the City of Owen was that the four-lane highway would improve the safety of the corridor. However, the new interchange at County Highway X has made access onto Highway 29 a little more difficult because the alignment of the interchange does not lead directly into the community.

Proposed Development

There has been a renewed interest in planning and economic development in Owen due to the interest of several newly elected officials. The City has had trouble attracting businesses to the community because of the location of the interchange. Development prospects that do emerge appear to be highway-oriented businesses.

The City has developed an 11-acre industrial park at the Highway 29 and County Road X interchange. One business has already located in the industrial park, where 10 acres for development remain. The industrial park is included in the City's Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) district. This will enable Owen to provide needed infrastructure for any new prospect locating in the industrial park.

Photo of County Highway X at the edge of Owen with the new Highway 29 interchange in the distance. (2002) ]

Standing at the edgoe of Owen, one can see the interchange from a distance. (2002)

The city's residential area is slowly growing. In the northeast, 120 acres have been designated for residential development in anticipation of the opening of the Stanley prison. The four-lane highway will enable the new residents of Owen safer and faster travel times to the employment centers in the area.

The following map illustrates planned land use in Owen.

Figure 13 City of Owen Planned Land Use

Figure 13. Map of the City of Owen illustrating the city's planned land use in relation to state highways and county streets. The map distinguishes between residential and industrial/manufacturing use and shows areas of planned development on the eastern side of the city's center. (2002)

Economic Impact of the Highway Improvement

Local officials have noted that the downtown had been steadily declining since the 1980s.

It is believed that the new highway expansion has not contributed to this decline. The remaining businesses are putting more effort than before the highway expansion into marketing their establishments.

Photo of the brick exterior entrance to Owen's library. (2002)]

Owen's library, located on the north end of Main Street (2002)

The community has advocated that designating part of County Road X as a possible business route for Highway 29 could help divert more traffic into the downtown area. The City also feels that signage at the County Road X interchange needs to be improved.

Owen has a grocery store, restaurants, and a gas station, all of which would be able to serve more customers during extended business hours. The following map illustrates the types and locations of businesses in the city.

Figure 14 City of Owen Businesses Figure 14. Map of the City of Owen illustrating the location of the city's establishments by business type in relation to state highways and county streets. Businesses are scattered throughout the village, with few near the Highway 29 interchange. (2002)

Updated: 5/7/2012
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