Blugold Real Estate Foundation purchases Water Street apartments

The apartment complex located at 222 Water St. will become student housing

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Photo by Hillary Smith

The new apartment complex on Water Street will provide housing for around 201 students.

On April 7, the Blugold Real Estate Foundation announced the purchase of the 222 Water Street apartment complex, which is currently under construction, in hopes of improving the on-campus housing shortage.

The Blugold Real Estate Foundation, a branch of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, entered agreements with developers John Mogensen, Lisa Aspensen and Michelle Mogensen.

According to the agreement, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation announced the purchase of the top three stories of the building to make apartment housing available to approximately 201 students. In addition to the apartments, developer John Mogensen and his group will still own the structure’s first floor, which is planned to have office space and a grocery store, according to The Leader Telegram .

Executive Director and UW-Eau Claire Foundation president Kimera Way said there’s no secret the university has struggled with ongoing housing shortages.

Due to these issues, she said the Blugold Real Estate Foundation will work to solve the problem through finding off campus housing near the university.

“This project is actually closer than most of the residence halls that are up the hill,” Way said. “I think that we’re excited about is the opportunity to create a really nice housing complex.”

To accommodate parking needs, Way said the Blugold Real Estate Foundation will own the parking that is underneath the building but will purchase up to 94 spaces that will be signed specifically to the tenants in both the Haas and Water Street parking lots.

Student Body President-elect Katy McGarry said she hopes for the same success with this building as Haymarket Landing.  

In addition, McGarry said she thought it was beneficial for Eau Claire to be proactive as to where they are going to put students and not just rely on the hotels in the area.

“Housing is just not good for students in the Eau Claire area,” McGarry said. “So the fact that they are building this space for students that’s going to be well-built, new, very safe housing that’s close to the university, I don’t think you could ask for anything more for that.”

With the renovations of Towers Hall starting this summer, Way said Eau Claire will have to provide housing for around 600 students to accommodate the renovations.

Seth Subiaga, junior kinesiology student, said the apartments will help with overcrowding of incoming students and be good for expanding the university to allow for more students.

“It gives students more of an option,” Subiaga said. “These apartments on Water Street would be closer so it would give students a little more incentive to move off campus to make more room for incoming freshmen.”

Austin Hill, senior business management student, said he sees the purchase as an overall positive and that it will be good to have new housing options available to students.

“I think it’s going to be great for the community of Eau Claire and the students,” Hill said, “Ultimately it’s going to benefit the university too, because if they have more housing for students, they are going to have more students.”

Way said the completion of the apartment is set for August 1 while the final steps of the purchase deal are expected to be resolved within the next 10 days.