Eau Claire private developer proposes $18 million project for Bl - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire private developer proposes $18 million project for Block 7

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - A vacant parking lot in downtown Eau Claire could soon be home to a multimillion dollar development.

The Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority met early Wednesday morning with Commonweal Development to talk about the future of Block Seven, which is the parking lot off of North Barstow Street in front of The Livery. Mike Schatz, with the Redevelopment Authority, said Commonweal Development wants to add two buildings in that space, a projected cost of $18 million. He said the first building would be four floors, with the first floor including a 20,000 square foot indoor public market; the top three floors would feature apartment units. He said the building would face along Wisconsin Street.

Schatz said the second building, which would face North Barstow Street, would be three-stories high and be filled exclusively with apartments. News 18 spoke with Stuart Schaefer, the president of Commonweal Development. He said the proposed plan calls for a total of 85 apartment units.

As for the source of funding, Schaefer said Commonweal Development is proposing that around $3 million in tax incremental funding be used to construct the indoor public market. The rest of the project would be paid for by Commonweal Development. Schatz said the TIF request for the indoor public market is too high. "(The projected cost of the project) was an $18 million valuation. That's why we're looking at alternatives for financing (the public market). The big unknown is operationally, who would be the owner of the bottom portion, who would run it,” Schatz said.

Schatz said no action was taken at Wednesday's meeting. No word yet on when the RDA might meet to make a final decision on the proposal. Schaefer said Commonweal Development would like to begin construction on the project in the spring.

Also on the table of discussion at the RDA meeting, members approved development and lease agreements with The Brewing Projekt. Because of that, William Glass, the owner of The Brewing Projekt, told news 18 his crews plan to start work in the former Silvermine Stone building some time next week. 

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