Student housing of Confluence Project to be privately funded - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Student housing portion of Confluence Project to be privately funded

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - There's been a big development concerning plans for Eau Claire's Confluence Project:  Organizers will no longer pursue state funding for student housing.

They planned to ask the state for $30 million for that part of the project.  The plan called for the state to own the apartment-style student housing and for UW-Eau Claire to operate it.  Now, developers say that portion will be privately funded and operated. 

There are also plans for a community arts center which, at last check, would seek $25 million from the state.  The financing mix would also include city and county funds.  Next week, developers will go before city council members to update them on this decision and the impact it will have.

Developers released the following statement on Monday:

Haymarket Concepts announced Monday that the mixed-use development portion of the proposed Confluence Project, including apartment-style student housing will be privately funded and operated.

The original project plan called for the state of Wisconsin to own the student housing and UW-Eau Claire's Housing and Residence Life to operate it.

Additional information about the decision to privately develop the apartment-style housing will be included in an update on the Confluence Project the developers will be giving at the May 13, 2013, meeting of the Eau Claire City Council. The developers noted the private funding of the student housing reflects a growing national trend and will simplify the more complex funding associated with the entire confluence project.

The Confluence Project is planned on property commonly referred to as the "Haymarket Site" at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers in Downtown Eau Claire. The site along Eau Claire Street and Graham Avenue consists of the Farmers Store and Market Square buildings that border the downtown Haymarket parking lot.

The project includes a community arts center and a mixed-use development consisting of retail/commercial space, parking and university student housing.

As envisioned, the community arts center of approximately 150,000-square-feet would serve the Eau Claire REgional Arts Council (ECRAC), community performing and fine arts organizations, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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