By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — Members of the economic development committee on Tuesday are expected to decide on a strategy for 28 properties the city now owns as a result of a road expansion project.

City staffers are recommending Wausau issue a request for proposals (RFP) to develop the remnant parcels, which the city acquired as part of Phase I of the Thomas Street construction project. The first phase of the project, which first entered the planning stages in 2002, was completed this fall.

Property acquisition for the corridor began in June 2008 to make way for planned improvements in the roadway. A second phase is set to begin as early as next year.

Several parcels or groups of parcels acquired during the first project phase have the potential for redevelopment without combining them with adjacent privately owned property, according to a staff report to the ED committee. Others are oddly shaped or could be difficult to build on.

Some property owners adjacent to the city-owned remnants have expressed interest in either purchasing the property or selling their current property for development opportunities, the memo states.

The committee could also opt to put the parcels out to bid, but staff is recommending an RFP process to provide the city more information as to the intention of the properties in the proposals. Selling the properties could put those parcels back on the city’s tax roll and reduce maintenance costs.Thomas Street Parcels