Sawdust District

Sawdust District Plan Development Information

Oshkosh’s Center City extends to the South Shore including the South Main Street corridor and waterfronts of the Fox River and Lake Winnebago. The Sawdust District, known for its historic industrial uses, was once home to leading lumber and furniture companies. As the dominance of the lumber industry decreased in the community, those former lumber uses have transitioned into other heavy uses and influenced today’s development pattern.

Today, the Sawdust district is experiencing a development renaissance starting with redevelopment of the former Buckstaff Company site into the Menominee Nation Arena that is the home court for Wisconsin’s newest NBA G League team the Wisconsin Herd. The Arena redevelopment was followed closely by the Fifth Ward Brewing company at 1009 S. Main Street and shortly thereafter re-opening of the Granary building at 44 W. 6th Avenue. And there continues to be redevelopment interest in the area.

The district is framed by traditional residential neighborhoods to the west with a variety of commercial sites intermixed through the area. While the district is experiencing change, there are issues to address and opportunities for redevelopment, particularly vacant properties and current and former industrial sites.

In 2000, the city partnered with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce to develop a Downtown Action Plan. The Downtown Action Plan provided a framework and agenda that has successfully guided capital improvement projects and private investment for more than 15 years, including Opera House Square, the Riverwalk, Leach Amphitheater, and streetscaping along North Main Street. In 2017, the Imagine Oshkosh Plan was developed as an update to previous planning efforts which now serves as a long-term vision and comprehensive investment strategy for the entire Center City including the Sawdust District.

The Planning Services Division is currently in the process of developing a special area plan for the Sawdust District. The Sawdust District Advisory Group began meeting in March of 2018 and have since held monthly meetings to provide input on the plan as needed. The advisory group has established boundaries for the district and sub-districts, see map below. In addition to the boundaries, a logo was created in an effort to establish a brand for the district. The Sawdust District Plan strives to expand upon the recommendations identified in Imagine Oshkosh focusing on the South Shore sub-area identified in the Center City. The Sawdust District Plan will direct growth, development and infrastructure investment by providing guidance through recommendations, strategies and policies with a ultimate goal of reinvigorating the neighborhood. To learn more about the plan development please contact the Planning Services Division at or (920) 236-5059.