Final buildings on “Confluence block” coming down

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- One by one we've watched them come down. Now just two buildings remain at the site of Eau Claire’s Confluence Project. But they won't be there for long.

Construction workers say the remaining store fronts could be nothing more than rubble at the end of the day Tuesday.

It's business as usual at Puckabee's Canine Salon with plenty of pooches all lined up to get trimmed for the start of fall.

Just three months ago, Puckabee's owner Melissa Kullman was grooming pooches at her shop in the so called “Confluence block” of South Barstow Street

Now all that’s left of her former canine salon is piles of bricks

“It will be interesting to see it get rebuilt and see it revitalized,” Kullman said.

Kullman has since relocated, taking up shop just a few blocks down the street. Her hope is the Confluence Project will bring new life into the downtown.

“I actually used to work in this building for a while for a couple years,” Kim Hrdlicka said as she watched demolition crews work on tearing down 2 S. Barstow St.

Like Kullman, Hrdlicka used to work in one of the buildings being torn down.

“It’s sad to see it go but the progress that it's going to do for our community is a good thing,” Hrdlicka said.

“I remember whenever the store fronts would be here rather than the malls,” Alvin Davis said as he sat across the street watching crews work on tearing down the buildings.

For Davis, the "Confluence block” used to be home Kline's Department Store.

“It was just an old fashioned department store with all the latest stuff in the store,” Davis recalled.

Davis says while he has fond memories of shopping downtown, it was time for the Kline's store to come down and make way for something new.

“I am hopeful before the end of my time I will see what this new project will look like. I can’t believe all of the construction that's gone on here in the last few years and it’s all for the good,” Davis said.

Crews say they will continue demolition Tuesday on the two final buildings. As for what comes next for the land left behind, plans for the mixed use building will be presented to the Eau Claire City Council at a meeting on September 8th.

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