Pro and amateur bike racers will fill the streets around Schlitz Park on Tuesday, but renovations to the business park are intended to appeal to a slower group.
As part of a $30 million renovation, the Schlitz Park developers will add bike racks, a covered parking area and fitness centers for workers who ride to their jobs.
“We want to make Schlitz Park and our development one that matches the needs and wants of the current, modern-day employee,” said Gary Grunau, the developer who turned the former brewery into a business park in 1983.
In that era, the transportation plan for a large, urban business park was to build as many parking spaces as possible, he said. With gas prices pushing $4 per gallon, and an increased emphasis on fitness, the priorities have changed.
“I think it’s a bigger picture, and the bicycle element is part of it,” Grunau said. “We have surveyed office parks around the country and we’re attempting to create the best urban office park in the region, and maybe the country.”
So far, Schlitz Park has added four new bike parking locations and installed a Varsity Bike Dock Rack System, a new design that provides added security and protection. When completed, cyclists will have 14 locations to secure their bikes, plus a map with routes to the business park, a covered parking area and the fitness centers for clean up.
“What Schlitz Park is doing and the scale of their activity is significant,” said Kevin Hardman, executive director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. “They’re establishing themselves as a leader in the bike to work effort providing the type of example we promote as we work with businesses across the state."
Amateur women will start the action at 11:10 a.m. and the pro women take the line at 3 p.m. The pro men’s race starts at 6 p.m., on a tight, technical 1-mile course starting on W. Pleasant St., immediately north of the business park.