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NEW INFORMATION: Owner hopes to build at former Heckel's site in Eau Claire

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An owner of a property that once housed the first Heckel's Family Restaurant hopes to build an office building or shopping strip in its place.

John Saxe says he doesn't have a specific plan for the property at 805 S. Hastings Way in Eau Claire at this point. He is looking for tenants for what he hopes will become an "upper scale" commercial building. He says he also has a couple of ideas for his own business there. He says he's talked to a couple realtors around town about the property, which Saxe's wife says they bought during the summer.

"When we bought it, the building was in really, really bad shape," Saxe said. "It was really bad inside."

Since then, Saxe says he had problems with theft at the building. Since he couldn't remodel the building, and for liability reasons, he had it dismantled this week.

The property housed Heckel's Family Restaurant for decades. Earlier this week, a manager at Heckel's in Lake Hallie told WEAU 13 News that the Hastings Way location was the first Heckel's, and opened nearly 57 years ago. He said Heckel's continued ownership of the property when it was Blue Moon Restaurant, and had rented it to that restaurant's operator. Heckel's sold the restaurant last year.

Saxe says the new building could be built next year or in 2015.

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