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New Concept Will Bring Life To Downtown Development

Posted August 29th, 2017

A new design may soon transform an empty Downtown block into an innovative multi-use development.

Block 7 in the North Barstow Redevelopment District is owned by the Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority (RDA) and was temporarily used as a surface parking lot until the City built the new North Barstow Parking Ramp. Now the RDA would like to see it developed and has hired SDS Architects to develop conceptual plans for the space.

The initial concept would follow a pattern of providing a site for a three to four story mixed-use building with commercial spaces facing North Barstow Street to the east and upper floor housing facing Wisconsin Street to the north. The south side of Block 7 along Galloway Street would include some small lots that could potentially be two story live/work units.

“The thought there is to try and offer a new construction site for a small business to take advantage of building ownership rather than to only have an option to rent,” said Mike Schatz, Executive Director of the RDA.

The middle of Block 7 could have an area that residents and others can enjoy. Features may include green space with benches and flexible seating, a play area for children, and a section for a small dog park. According to Jeff Halloin, RDA board member, “we were trying to create a concept that is a little less dense with some amenities that were different from other North Barstow redevelopment blocks. I believe that SDS Architects did that for us.”

The RDA has directed staff to collect feedback from businesses and developers, and to gather cost estimates to determine if new construction is affordable on the smaller lots.