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Downtown Eau Claire has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. The North Barstow Redevelopment District began in 2002 and resulted in Phoenix Park, which has won many awards for creative design and community building. Today, Phoenix Park is a popular place for the community to gather for concerts, weddings, along with the nearby Farmer's Market Pavilion which attracts thousands of people for the locally grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other goods.
Next to Phoenix Park, several new mixed-use buildings have been developed, forming a truly urban neighborhood. Ground broke for the Riverfront Terrace Apartments in November 2011, and both buildings were ready for occupancy in early 2013.
Across the Chippewa river another Redevelopment District is forming, the West Bank Redevelopment District. The The Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority is hoping to convert an industrial section of the riverfront into a pedestrian friendly area with access to the river, new hotels, and other businesses that would benefit from the proximity to downtown and Mayo Clinic Health Systems.
The Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority is a group of members who are appointed by City Council. Their purpose includes carrying out blight elimination, slum clearance, and urban renewal programs and projects.
North Barstow Redevelopment District - Request for Proposals
The Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority is requesting proposals for the development/redevelopment of the proposed parking ramp liner development site and the Block 7 development site.
The property is located in the North Barstow Redevelopment District near the Eau Claire River and Phoenix Park. All proposals must be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Click here to learn more about how and where to submit a proposal.
Downtown Master Plan
A conceptual Downtown Master Plan was unveiled to the city on May 3, 2012. The Plan includes ideas such as a boutique hotel, a "Live on Grand" promenade, and developing a public space with access to the river and the potential for a pedestrian/bike bridge to Phoenix Park from what they call the Haymarket lot, off of Graham Avenue.
The plan was commissioned by Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. and the South Barstow Business Improvement District and included the following design committee: Phil Johnson of Ayres Associates, Kristen Fish, Deboarah Ersland, and Mike Morissey of Redevelopment Resources, and Garret Perry of Design Studio.
The idea of The Confluence Project was announced in May 2012. The Confluence Project, a public-private partnership by Commonweal Development Corporation, Market & Johnson, UW-Eau Claire, and the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, is aiming to build a new community arts center, university student housing, and a commercial retail complex in Downtown Eau Claire. The Arts Center would be home to three performance spaces, galleries, offices, classrooms, studios, and more.
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With some new momentum behind it, the group that's leading the way for the Confluence Project will be working to satisfy the conditions set forth in the Eau Claire City Council resolution that pledges $5 million to the community arts center portion of the project. "This is an important step by a key partner in the Confluence Project. This pledge represents a commitment by the City of Eau Claire's elected leadership to develop a community arts center that will serve the needs of the community, region and university. The university is grateful for the council's action," said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt.
UW-Eau Claire, Haymarket Concepts, and the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, will continue discussion with Eau Claire County leaders, the UW-System, state legislators, and the Department of Administration, according to Mike Rindo, UWEC Assistant Chancellor for Facilities and University Relations. The group is also seeking $5 million from Eau Claire County and $25 million in state funding. The rest of the arts center's construction costs will be from donations and tax credits. Rindo said there will be ongoing efforts for fundraising to meet both the construction costs and the $2.5 million endowment for operational purposes laid out in the council resolution.
Meanwhile, Rindo said, the university must also submit its 2015-2017 capital budget priorities to the UW-System. Early this month, the Confluence Project will be evaluated by the UW Board of Regents.
I firmly believe (the Confluence Project) provides the best solution to meeting community and university arts facilities needs because all partners will realize much more benefit through this unique public-private-philanthropic undertaking than any of us could on our own. I look forward to continuing the close collaboration with all of our partners to make this visionary project a reality," said Schmidt.
City Council President Kerry Kincaid said the City Council will carefully monitor the list of conditions to make sure they are met, but said the City already has experience with cooperative arrangements like the City/County Health Department, shared law enforcement space at the County Government Center, regional EMS, and shared athletic venues with UWEC at Hobbs Ice Center and Carson Park."I continue to be proud that Eau Claire has the opportunity to explore this shared project. We are capable and ready to build another cooperative partnership for the arts, especially one that revitalizes our city center," Kincaid said.
Along with the arts center, the Confluence Project also includes a $26 million privately-financed mixed-use building that would have student housing, commercial space for shops and restaurants, and underground parking.
© 2013 City of Eau Claire Economic Development Division
203 S. Farwell St., PO Box 5148, Eau Claire, WI 54702 Ph:(715) 839-4914
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