Wisconsin Rapids Takes Steps Forward to Redevelop Downtown Waterfront
For the City Times
The latest in downtown redevelopment begins on Monday, Feb. 29, with the demolition of two dilapidated buildings on the corner of 1st Street North and Market Street, across from the Wood Co. Courthouse and adjacent to the Wisconsin River.
A short ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. where the mayor will lead the ‘first swings’. This site preparation offers ongoing physical evidence of the city’s efforts to make good on its vision to create new places to live, work and play in the Downtown Waterfront District.
During 2015, the city reached purchase agreements with owners of three properties after determining that the conditions of these buildings made them uninhabitable and at the end of their useful service life.
Having long talked about attracting and retaining young professionals in our city to meet future workforce needs, our goal with redevelopment is to bring housing downtown – a desired element of both millennials and “empty nesters” – as well as new office and retail space, all the while making more out of the significant natural resource and asset we have in the Wisconsin River.
“Strengthening our downtown waterfront is essential to achieving economic growth in the city and region,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. The site location makes it an ideal place for transformative redevelopment that will create jobs, grow the tax base, invite businesses and make our Downtown Waterfront an even more attractive destination.
A process to solicit developers will unfold in the coming months as the city works to package financing opportunities, feasibility studies and housing market data. To learn more about the redevelopment or register your interest, please contact Vruwink at 715-421-8202, [email protected] or Adam Tegen, Director of Planning & Economic Development, at 715-421-8225 or [email protected].