Community members give input on Eau Claire's Cannery District Redevelopment

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire community members turned out Thursday night to hear more about plans for the Cannery District and to give their input for what they'd like to see in the area.

"I'm really interested in having a bike trail that connects on this side. I think it would be great to have river access for tubers and kayakers on this side. I think it would be awesome to have a good grocery store in this neighborhood as well," said Audrey Boerner.

The meeting showed potential plans for public space, which include overlooks, parks, and a skate plaza.

Then community members were asked to give feedback on possible redevelopment for the area including what type of housing, restaurants, and entertainment they'd like to see.

"National trends point to people now wanting to be in downtown areas, to be on water, and having something we can market because that is what people are asking for," said Eau Claire Economic Development Administrator Mike Schatz.

Mike Schatz said the Cannery District stretches for about 30 acres from the intersection of Madison Street and Oxford Avenue to the High Bridge.

"The RDA (Redevelopment Authority) started buying properties on the riverfront side, and we still have properties to buy on the opposite side. It's taken several years to acquire the property, but we're getting close to the end there. We want to make sure we're ready to go once we have all this land," said Schatz.

The Eau Claire Brewing Project LLC, DBA The Brewing Projekt, hopes to move into what's known as the old Indianhead building, but nothing is finalized yet.

Mike Schatz emphasizes this is still in the early stages, but the input collected from Thursday's meeting will be used to help bring in possible developers.

"Start putting together conceptual plans and 3D models so we can actually show developers what kind of things we're thinking about," said Schatz.

Members of the RDA said the goal is to turn an underutilized area of the city into a place people want to visit and live.

If you're wondering where the name "Cannery" comes from, it's a way to honor the history of the area because canning and food related companies used to be located there.



 
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