Mark Murphy is perched nearly 50 feet above the Titletown District he was instrumental in creating. And while the Green Bay Packers’ president and CEO doesn’t stick out his chest, he most certainly could.
The full-sized football field and 40-yard dash area are both bustling. There’s a bevy of activity on the playgrounds, which are designed for a variety of age groups.
Some are enjoying the activities that include bocce ball, table tennis, shuffleboard, and bean-bag toss. And the anchor stores — Hinterland Brewery, the Lodge Kohler hotel and the Bellin Health Sports Medicine and Orthopedics clinic — are all hopping.
The Green Bay Packers have taken a 45-acre parcel of land that was once an eyesore and created Titletown District. Phase 1 is nearing completion, and the Packers will soon announce plans for a Phase 2 that will include apartments, condominiums, townhomes and office buildings.
“This has been a labor of love,” Murphy said during a recent tour of the district. “By and large, people saw that this was going to be really good. This is the kind of amenity that you normally don’t see in a town the size of Green Bay.”
Slightly more than a decade ago, the Packers began buying land on the west side of Lambeau Field. The plan was to create a district that could enhance economic growth throughout the region, attract visitors year-round, and offer amenities traditionally not seen in Green Bay.
The Packers announced details for the district in 2015, and three years later, Phase 1 is virtually completed.
“A lot of Phase 1 was investing and creating a real sense of place where the community and visitors can enjoy it year-round,” said Ed Policy, the Packers’ chief operating officer and general counsel, who has helped oversee the development of Titletown. “I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out so far. But more importantly, the community has really reacted to it well.”
It would be hard not to.
The Packers held focus groups before starting Titletown, and a large percentage of people asked for something to help get them outside in the winter. The Packers obliged with a tubing hill and skating rink that have been met with rave reviews.
At the heart of the district is a 46-foot, winter tubing hill named Ariens Hill that runs 300 feet from start to finish and includes two lanes. The hill is open during the colder months, which is much of the year in a place known for its frozen tundra. The hill’s slope also functions as a roof over two buildings.
There’s an ice-skating rink open in the winter months that Murphy has also been thrilled with.
“The skating trail is similar to the Maggie Daley trail in Chicago,” Murphy said. “To have something like that here in Green Bay is pretty nice.”
READ MORE by visiting the original article on Forbes.