Skip to main content

Survey Results & Analysis

2016 Market Analysis

In 2016, the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, City of Fond du Lac, UW-Extension Fond du Lac County and Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation partnered to better understand how to grow downtown Fond du Lac as a desirable place to live and work. Input was sought from area workforce, residents and businesses regarding attributes and amenities in downtown which could be enhanced to better serve local populations. These studies were then followed up by surveys to several key groups; downtown workers, residents and businesses. The combination of market data and self-disclosed spending habits and preferences provide a more nuanced picture of the downtown Fond du Lac market. The findings from this research and survey work are provided in this document, along with potential strategies that may help to support additional business activity in the area by capitalizing on areas of strength and addressing areas of real or perceived weakness.

As part of the market analysis process, six other communities in Wisconsin were identified as geographically and economically similar to Fond du Lac. These communities were used as the basis for an economic comparison among the competitive set to identify any unique opportunities or challenges which Fond du Lac may face relative to its peers. In addition to comparing the economic performance of Fond du Lac and peer communities, representatives from various economic development partners in Fond du Lac visited peer communities and met with local stakeholders in each to identify opportunities and best practices which may be relevant to future local efforts.

This plan is designed to provide a forward-looking framework for the next five years of downtown revitalization initiatives. Because this analysis is market-based, it is likely that many of the economic and demographic factors surrounding this plan will shift over this period. The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership will continue to update and revise organizational goals to reflect these realities. 

Initiatives are identified in the plan as either suitable for the near term, midterm or long term action. These timelines are relative, and identify initiatives that can be undertaken easily and without significant allocation of funds as appropriate for the near term, those which will require funding, staffing and/or stakeholder engagement to complete as suitable for midterm implementation, and those that require progress on prior initiatives, a change in local conditions, or substantial actions by other parties as suitable for long term action. In a general sense, near term initiatives can be thought of as those suitable for action in the next year, midterm actions as those in the next 2-3 years and long term actions as those likely to take 4-5 years to be completed. 

Downtown Fond du Lac Market Study & Plan

Downtown Fond du Lac Appendix to Market Analysis

2016 Downtown Exploratory Committee

"In early 2016, The Fond du Lac City Council created the Downtown Exploratory Committee (DEC) to function in an advisory capacity to the Council regarding improvements for the downtown of Fond du Lac and to present recommendations for improvements to the Council. The DEC explored, studied and investigated all aspects of potential improvements to the Downtown. Its scope of study was intentionally broad, encompassing all forms of building, park and public space occupancy and all forms of activity, including, but not limited to: public events, public/private ownership and potential commercial development. The DEC presented a written report to the City Council that encompassed its recommendations, the expected outcomes of implementing those expectations and its rationale for the recommendations it makes. Simply put, the committee’s report answered the question: How can the Downtown of Fond du Lac be better?" (source: City of Fond du Lac Downtown Exploratory Committee website)

View the full report and presentation from the DEC, which can be found in the Documents/Links section toward the bottom of the page. (A new tab wil open on your browser.)

2014 Downtown Fond du Lac Housing Study

Downtown housing development represents a significant growth opportunity for Fond du Lac. Limited new residential development has occurred in downtown, despite local and regional growth demographic groups which are attracted to urban multifamily developments. A strong downtown residential market can benefit downtown in many ways, including vitality, and expanded customer base and improved safety.

An analysis of the existing housing stock, combined with 5-year projections for additional residential and employment growth, identified a demand for 69 additional owner-occupied downtown housing units in 2014, and 112 additional residential units within the downtown area by 2019.

2014 Downtown Fond du Lac Housing Study

2014 Retail MarketPlace Profile: Supply & Demand

1 mile & 5 mile radius of 1 N Main Street

Supply (retail sales) estimates sales to consumers by establishments. Sales to businesses are excluded. Demand (retail potential) estimates the expected amount spent by consumers at retail establishments. Supply and demand estimates are in current dollars. The Leakage/Surplus Factor presents a snapshot of retail opportunity.

For more information on the Retail MarketPlace data, please view the methodology statementSource: Esri and Dun & Bradstreet.

2014 Retail Market Profile

2005 Business Survey

In order to better understand the conditions and concerns of downtown business owners in Fond du Lac, a business owner survey was undertaken to collect comprehensive business information about needs and opportunities, business and workforce data, and market and marketing data. The following document provides a summary of the responses collected in the survey.

2005 Business Survey

2001 Market Analysis

The DFP completed a market analysis done by CommunityFutures, Inc. of Denver, Colorado. The Market Analysis provided the DFP with information on where we are now and where we need to go in the future.

2001 DFP Market Analysis

Some content requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.