The City of Appleton is seeking a qualified person or firm to contract for consulting services to complete an in-depth rewrite of the Downtown Plan, Chapter 14 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan (“Downtown Plan”), and complete the Five-Year Comprehensive Plan updates to the overall City Comprehensive Plan (“Plan”) including the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. 

The City of Appleton is located in the Fox River Valley of northeastern Wisconsin and has a population of approximately 73,000. Appleton is located at the crossroads of Interstate 41 and US Highway 10 and is 90 miles north of Milwaukee and 30 miles southwest of Green Bay. More information about the City is available on our website at

The Downtown Plan was originally developed in 2007; however it was incorporated as Chapter 14 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan that was adopted in 2010. The adopted Downtown Plan rewrite is intended to inform public policy and help to guide and build on the physical, natural, cultural and social assets including the volunteer efforts that drive Downtown’s role as the heart of the city. Appleton Downtown, Inc. (ADI) will be the City’s partner in this process.  

Downtown Appleton is the heart of the Fox Valley and as an Arts and Entertainment district the Downtown has embraced the creative economic energy of business, tourism, education and love of the Fox River. Downtown’s resurgence and increased vibrancy has drawn recent praise, with College Avenue, being named one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association in 2014. Despite these accolades, strategic and ongoing investment in Downtown remains a top priority for the City. Rewriting the Downtown Plan is a critical step in this process.  

The adopted Five Year updates to the Comprehensive Plan should account for progress made over the past five years, incorporate current data and trends, and introduce new recommendations, as needed. A summary of amendments that have been made to the Comprehensive Plan since 2010 has been prepared by staff and is available with this RFP.  

Several major projects currently in progress will impact the City in general and Downtown specifically, as they will influence future mobility, connectivity to the riverfront, attraction of conventions and visitors and residential density. These include, but are not limited to: a proposed exhibition center, a rehabilitated or new library, the continued redevelopment of numerous riverfront sites, and proposed changes to the parking system. Appleton overall continues to see increasing demand for new housing units and a solid commercial and industrial base. 

View the Draft Request for Proposals for Rewrite of the Downtown Plan and Five-Year Updates to City’s Comprehensive Plan (PDF)