Waterfront Development & Comprehensive Recreation Plan

The City of Ashland, Wisconsin contracted with GRAEF to update their 2002 Waterfront Development Plan and their 2013 CORP. The City desired to update these plans to better serve the community and to help the city leaders and investors make informed decisions about future projects.

GRAEF was asked to provide planning and urban design services, as well as waterfront development planning, park & recreation planning, and green infrastructure planning. These tasks, in combination with economic development services and plan implementation strategies, provided the community with a well-defined roadmap going forward.

The project’s planning encompassed the entirety of Lake Superior waterfront in Ashland and provided in-depth recommendations for each waterfront zone. These included more rural and natural areas to more urban and developed spaces. Critical redevelopment sites were identified to leverage ongoing waterfront and neighborhood investment efforts and plans for redeveloping the few remaining waterfront neighborhood sites capable of accommodating development were highlighted and evaluated for development options and potential.

Private development and public investment opportunities were considered for these development scenarios, in addition to the possibility of weaving-in additional amenities along the waterfront to draw the local population and tourism. Connectivity from the waterfront across U.S. Highway 2 to the city’s increasingly vibrant downtown were also considered.

All parks were evaluated for the CORP update, where key sites including the City’s Superfund site and the ongoing Oredock Park investments were highlighted, in addition to options for the City’s underused park spaces. Additional opportunities for the City to reduce their annual

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Project Data

Plan Completion Date: December 2019
Project Fee: $69,000

GRAEF Services

Planning & Urban Design
Waterfront Development Planning
Park & Recreation Planning
Economic Development
Plan Implementation
Green Infrastructure


Craig Huebner

Craig Huebner

Practice Team Leader - Planning + Urban Design