New city developments in the Chippewa Valley

What those piles of dirt in downtown Eau Claire are really for

Grace Olson

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Student speaks
October 27, 2021
Aaron+White+said+Eau+Claire+residents+will+be+seeing+the+projects+being+finished+within+the+next+year.

Photo by Grace Olson

Aaron White said Eau Claire residents will be seeing the projects being finished within the next year.

As one walks through downtown Eau Claire they can see a lot of construction happening but may wonder what exactly is being built. 

Aaron White, the Eau Claire development manager, said there are many new projects taking place that will finish within the next year.

The Andante project is a mixed-use development that will include 76 residential units, and is moving along well with an expected finish date in the summer of 2022, White said.

The Andante project is located at 100 N. Farwell St. and will include 8,000 square feet of commercial space that will be available to lease.

Close by, the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire is also getting ready to break ground on their new building at 100 N. Barstow St, White said. This project will start to move forward in October of this year. 

For the time being, the public is welcome to visit the Children’s Museum at their temporary location of 40 S. Barstow St. 

Marianne Klinkhammer, the president of the museum’s board of directors, said the new museum is an investment into the revitalization of downtown Eau Claire. 

Also downtown, the transit center project is starting to break ground and is moving forward well, White said. 

The transit center will include retail space along with a new addition above the center which will include a parking garage and housing. 

Dave Solberg, the interim city manager, said the project will cost around $7 million, $5 million of which will come from a federal grant and should open in late 2022. 

On Farwell St., the developer JCap construction is continuing to work on their Wilson square project. This project was going to originally include senior living, but has now shifted to be apartments for the general public. 

Eau Claire isn’t the only city that has new projects on the way. Brad Hentschel, the city planner for Chippewa Falls, said they have had a good record of growth for the past couple of years. 

Hentschel said the biggest project of note just hit the ground — the Mason Companies project. This project is taking place in the Lake Wissota Business Park and will include four phases. 

The project will be a 425,000 square foot manufacturing and logistics center for the team which is what the first phase includes, Hentschel said. 

The next three phases will expand to 975,000 square feet and will include corporate offices for the team. 

Hentschel said another project includes the tiny home community — Hope Village — who had purchased land to create a rehabilitation building and a community center. 

“We work collaboratively with them and the state of Wisconsin to get a grant to help them have somewhat of a campus area and better serve their community needing their services,” he said. 

White said some of the projects in Eau Claire did start before the COVID-19 pandemic but had to be delayed because they didn’t know how the economy was going to react. 

Other projects were also delayed because of the cost increase of construction materials in June of this year, White said.

Despite these delays, White said there has been a lot of interest from the community and they are excited to see what other projects come down the road. 

Olson can be reached at [email protected]