It took over ten years of discussions, negotiations, ideas and presentations to reach the pinnacle, but the milestone of breaking ground for the new Oshkosh Aviation Business Park was finally accomplished on Thursday, September 4.
Winnebago County Board Chairman David Albrecht and members of the Aviation Committee envisioned an aviation business park at the southeast corner of Wittman Regional Airport, on 115 acres of farmland owned by the Brennand family. The idea originated in the early 2000s when the land initially came available for sale however, a multitude of obstacles needed to be overcome before the purchase of the parcel could be completed.
In early 2013, a joint venture by Winnebago County, the City of Oshkosh, and Chamco (a public/private industrial development organization) acquired 80 acres of the available land, and work started in earnest to develop the land into a successful business park with the aim of bringing strong aviation businesses to Oshkosh and the surrounding region. The 80-acre parcel is subdivided into two halves; the western portion belonging to the county will have direct airport access. The eastern half of the new business park is owned by the city and those lots will be available for purchase by new businesses.
With the aid of grants and other funding, the future is already bright for the park. A business accelerator, anchored by AeroInnovate, is currently under development and is planned for one of the city-owned lots. D’Shannon Aviation, a recognized leader in modifications for Beech Bonanza and Baron aircraft, has committed to moving its engine operations to Wittman Airport. Discussions are underway with several other aviation entities to ultimately fill the park.
The groundbreaking was truly a celebratory culmination of the work of several organizations and individuals who are striving to grow Wittman Regional Airport and its impact on Oshkosh and the surrounding areas. But the groundbreaking is only the beginning…stay tuned for more exciting news about this venture.