Confluence Project development agreement released - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Confluence Project development agreement released

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - It's been more than two years since the Confluence Project was first announced. Now, next week, the Eau Claire City Council will vote on the development agreement for the mixed use building. The agreement details what costs the city is responsible for, along with what the developer will have to provide.

It's 70 pages long and details the city's $10 million contribution to the Confluence Project.

"This is the final step before footings can go into the ground,” said City Manager Russ Van Gompel.

In it the details of a 5.9 million dollar contribution to the mixed use center. First a $2.95 million incentive payment to be paid out in stages for meeting certain construction goals such as fully enclosing the building.

A second $2.95 million payment will come once the community arts center is built.

The incentives come from a tax increment district where future taxes pay for the city to create development that wouldn't have occurred otherwise.

"We're talking about a scope of a project that would put it in the top ten taxpaying entities in the city,” said Van Gompel. “There was no where near that in that block prior to that point."

The agreement also details that the mixed use building will be paying close to $550,000 in taxes based on a 23 million value. If that value rises so does the tax payment.

Developers are responsible for all private utility costs, demolition, site prep, and construction costs totally as much as $25 million.

A lease of 50 parking spaces in the city's parking ramp is outlined, as well as agreements on how much insurance the developers must take out. Also a clause that the developers nor the building itself can become tax exempt for the next 50 years.

"Once all the obligations of the district are finished and it's retired but we'll still have a period of time that will help support our tax base,” Van Gompel said.

The city will also pay as much as two million dollars for the riverwalk along the Eau Claire River, as well as a public plaza where the current Haymarket Parking Lot sits.

The work finished on paper, and after Tuesday it might not be long before it begins downtown

The development agreement will be the subject of a public hearing Monday night. If it is approved on Tuesday, construction is expected to begin yet this year

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