UW-Eau Claire’s Blugold Real Estate Foundation sued

UWEC Blugold Real Estate Foundation Sued
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:27 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -UW-Eau Claire’s future multi-million dollar Sonnentag Complex promises a new event center and a new field house. Now, the project is also the focus of a lawsuit.

The foundation is being sued for breach of contract and misrepresentation.

According to the lawsuit filed in Eau Claire County Circuit Court, the foundation entered into an exclusivity agreement with the plaintiffs, Southside Holdings and Big River Education Center, in 2017.

The lawsuit claims local developers sold a desired property to the UWEC foundation that was needed for the Sonnentag Center. In exchange, the developers were promised the right to purchase and develop the former Student Transit Center to turn it into the Big River Education Center.

Now, the former Student Transit Center property is slated to be parking for the Sonnentag Center, remaining with the foundation.

The developers claim they put a significant amount of money into research and projects for the promised property, adding they believe the foundation’s employees were aware there was no intention to uphold the deal.

WEAU reached out to the Blugold Foundation. Its president, Kimera Way, sent over a statement saying, “Over the seven years that this project has been in development, there have been many changes. The Big River Education Center was one of the projects that we had contemplated, as evidenced by the publicity associated with it early on. We are focused on the construction of the Sonnentag Event Center and John and Carolyn Sonnentag Fieldhouse. This will not delay those facilities.”

In another statement, Peter Hoeft of Southside Holdings said “We are disheartened that we have had to take this matter to court since we have held up our end of an agreement, and intended to collaborate and create a state-of-the-art Student Housing and Recreation development at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Our building contracting businesses have been a part of this community for more than 37 years, and that’s why we were excited to be working to benefit the Eau Claire campus – and why it is so unfortunate the foundation misled us.”

According to the lawsuit, the Blugold Foundation has 45 days to respond.

The local developers are seeking a trial by jury as well as a temporary injunction to prevent any work on the potential development of the promised property.

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