Plans change for entryway to downtown Chippewa Falls - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Plans change for entryway to downtown Chippewa Falls


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Downtown Chippewa Falls remains a hot spot for construction, even as the temperature drops.

While the SEH building across the street goes up

The plaza building in downtown Chippewa Falls could soon be on the way down.

"I haven't been in the building myself, but I've been told by a number of people that have been in the building that, it's just cobbled up, and some of the space is not very useful. There is some deterioration, leaks, things of that nature," said Jayson Smith, Chippewa Falls City Planner.

The building was recently put on the market. The city council has since met in closed session to discuss buying the building, tearing it down, and opening it up for developers.

"There's quite a history of that here, and I think our first goal would always be if the building has any historical significance or is sound, try to save the building. If that's not the case, let's try to make it the best environment we can for developers to come in," said Chuck Hull, Chippewa Falls City Council Member.

On the other side of the downtown entryway sits the Empire Building, which was originally going to be renovated for use by the Chamber of Commerce.

"I understand there are individuals who think it's a neat building, and I'm sure it was at one time. But that building has been pretty much destroyed when it was in that fire," said Mayor Greg Hoffman.

Instead, it will now join the list of construction projects underway in the entryway.

"The decision has been made; we're going to tear it down. I feel very confident the Chamber of Commerce and the city can work on an arrangement to have them begin construction on a new building there next spring," Hoffman explained.

The city won't share how much the plaza building owner is being offered for the property. But the building sits in a TIF district which would help the city develop the space if it buys the building.

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