Packed downtown speaks volumes

Business pulse remains strong in Sheboygan Falls
by Jeff Pederson Sheboygan Falls News Editor

DIETER STIPE opened Designs by Dieter at 108 Pine St. in downtown Sheboygan Falls in 2015. Designs by Dieter was one of several new businesses which moved into the downtown business district last year. - Falls News file photo by Jeff Pederson DIETER STIPE opened Designs by Dieter at 108 Pine St. in downtown Sheboygan Falls in 2015. Designs by Dieter was one of several new businesses which moved into the downtown business district last year. - Falls News file photo by Jeff Pederson Nothing can make a bigger statement about the health of a city’s downtown business district, than a “no vacancy’ sign.

The city of Sheboygan Falls’ vibrant downtown business district saw its share of change in 2015, but at the end of the year all storefronts were filled to capacity, which is something most cities can only dream about.

“It is really amazing that we currently have no business openings in the downtown,” Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street Executive Director Shirl Breunig said. “It is certainly nice to have all of our first-floor storefront space filled.

There was plenty of action in the historic downtown throughout 2015, highlighted by the arrival of Designs by Dieter, which moved into the space formerly occupied by Paradise Acres Soapworks at 108 Pine St.

Magpies Cottage moved to a new storefront at 507 Broadway St., while Jamin Olive opened a new restaurant adjacent to Catalunya Restaurant and Cap’s Tap opened at the site of the former Big Jimmy’s at 118 Pine St.

In addition, Tiny Tikes Corner made its debut late in 2015 at 310 Buffalo St. and Richardson Kitchen & Bath held its ribbon cutting event last January.

“It is exciting to see new businesses like Designs by Dieter and Tiny Tikes Corner come in,” Breunig said. “Even when we have businesses leave, it is great to see new ones come in or expand into larger locations to replace them.

“Richardson Kitchen and Bath has made a big impact in their first year in the downtown area,” she said. “The future is definitely looking bright in the downtown area.”

Outside of the downtown, Sheboygan Falls also welcomed Pine Haven’s major facility expansion project at its Haven Drive location, as well as the new Afterburners Restaurant at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport.

“Pine Haven’s $20 million dollar expansion project was a really big addition to the city in 2015,” Breunig said. “Pine Haven is also made some nice renovations at its Giddings Avenue facility as well.”

Although the construction process brought along a few headaches, the completion of the Plymouth to Sheboygan Falls rail line restoration project promises to bring plenty of benefits for the city’s largest employer – Bemis Manufacturing.

“The railroad construction project was kind of difficult for many in the downtown area last year,” Breunig said. “It is no secret that the construction process was challenging, but now that it is over for the most part, we can focus on all of the benefits it will bring for Bemis.

“Any future tenants at Vision Business Park could also possibly benefit from having the rail line back up and running,” she said. “It is nice that the city can now offer rail line for prospect companies looking into moving to Vision Park.”

Breunig is optimistic about the potential for new development at Vision Business Park and at the former Stern Tannery site.

“One of the most exciting things looking forward in 2016 is the potential new tenant at Vision Business Park,” Breunig said. “We have been hearing a lot of good things, but nothing is official as of yet. Hopefully, everything will come together for the best for the city of Sheboygan Falls.

“The Stern Tannery property also has some nice possibilities,” she said. “There are plans in place to raze the building that is currently on the site and the possibility of future development in that area is pretty exciting.”

The Shop Falls First campaign, which Chamber-Main Street launched in 2011, will be prominently featured once again throughout 2016.

“We will continue to promote Shop Falls First,” Breunig said. “I know our member businesses have appreciated the campaign and many have said that it has made a difference. We will continue to raise awareness and spread the message about the importance of shopping local.

“We are working on a calendar project for 2017 promoting the Shop Falls First theme,” she said. “We will be seeking photos for use in the calendar, as well as our other publications, brochures, Facebook page and website.We will have the final details worked out soon and will be releasing more information about the calendar project in the near future.”

Chamber-Main Street is also looking to form a partnership with the Sheboygan Falls School District in 2016.

The next Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street Business ‘N Bagels event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 3 at Sheboygan Falls High School.

The program will serve to formally introduce the new SFHS Innovation and Design Fab Lab.

“We are excited about being more involved with the school district and the upcoming Business ‘N Bagels program will serve as a kickoff to that partnership,” Breunig said. “We are looking for other opportunities for future partnerships as well, as we strive to open up different avenues for supporting our community.”

Breunig is also proud of Chamber Main Street’s involvement in the police body camera project and Community Christmas Tree project in 2015.

“John Blattner initiated the police body camera project based on the violent incidents going on throughout the country involving police officers,” Breunig said. “John Blattner and Chamber-Main Street each donated $5,000 to the project and we also held a public fundraiser, which raised another $5,000. It was a great project to be involved with.

“The Community Christmas Tree project turned out wonderful as well,” she said. Curt and Dawn Buhler’s tree was beautiful and for them to donate it in honor of Curt’s late father, who gave it to them as an anniversary gift, was really heartwarming. The community really embraced it and I think we had a bigger crowd for the tree lighting than we’ve had in many years. It should be a great community tradition going forward.”

The Yankee Garden rejuvenation project rolled forward in 2015 with a number of upgrades and new additions.

“The Sheboygan County Master Gardeners have helped us a lot in renovating Yankee Garden, which will continue into 2016 with the start up of Phase 2,” Breunig said. “We had a number of new plantings that went in at Yankee Garden including annuals and perennials.

“This spring we will be emphasizing the back side of the garden,” she said. “We are going into the third year of our partnership with the Sheboygan County Master Gardeners. We are so grateful for their leadership in the design and placement process for the garden renovation project. It has turned out amazingly well so far.”

Chamber-Main Street will hold its 28th Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet Tuesday, March 31, at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms.

According to Breunig, Chamber Main Street is holding strong at over 200 members.

“We’ve been over 200 members for the past four years now,” Breunig said. “We are always looking for new members. Chamber membership is a great value, not just for downtown business, but for all businesses in Sheboygan Falls and the surrounding area.”

For more information or to join Sheboygan Falls Chamber Main Street, call 467-6206, e-mail or visit

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