By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — City officials have agreed to continue discussion with developers Gorman & Company for the triangle redevelopment project.
Outlined in the initial city proposal included the development of multi-use/multi-story buildings, mixing office space with retail space, growing the tax-base for the area, and to provide pedestrian-friendly features, among others. Gorman & Company recently submitted their proposal for the area to city, though it did not completely meet the city’s expectations.
“It was the consensus of city staff that if we were to take their initial proposal at face value it wouldn’t be a fit for what we had envisioned for the triangle,” said Community Development Director Adam Tegan. “There have been conversations back and forth, and there has been a willingness on the part of Gorman to continue to move their proposal towards what we want to do.”
A letter of intent was drawn up by the city to continue to work with Gorman to come to an ultimate agreement on how to develop the area.
“Ultimately, the letter of intent is as loose as possible,” said Tegan. “It obligates the city only in effect that we will agree to continue negotiation and to work towards a proposal.”
However, discussions with Gorman officials have gone well, according to Mayor Zach Vruwink, and the general feeling regarding the project seems optimistic.
“The neat part is that they’re willing to be as creative as necessary to achieve this market rate housing that we’re looking to achieve,” said Vruwink. “…Ultimately, we feel, and the developer feels that we can make something happen, but it’s going to take time — and it should take time to find the right mix of tenants, whether they’re retail or residential tenants alike.”
Gorman & Company is a development firm out of Oregon, Wis. with locations in Milwaukee, Denver, Chicago, Miami, and Phoenix.