By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A proposal to transform a west side riverfront property into a restaurant with an outdoor patio and a mini greenhouse is still being finalized, city officials said Monday.
The project, first proposed in March, calls for the former West Side Battery building at 415 S. First Ave. to become a 99-seat Urban Street Bistro restaurant. The roughly $600,000 project asks for a $100,000 commercial loan and a $150,000 MCDEVCO commercial equipment loan, while purchasing the property from the city for $225,000.
The project involves two parcels of property, both which are owned by the city. City leaders in September 2016 purchased the West Side Battery property for $200,000 using a loan made by the Judd S. Alexander Foundation. The adjoining parcel, the former home of L&S Printing, was sold to the city in 2014 for $190,000, also with a loan from the Judd S. Alexander Foundation.
Urban Street Bistro now operates a food truck and catering business with four full-time and several part-time employees.
Economic Development Director Chris Schock said Urban Street Bistro owner Clint Schultz has regularly updated the city on progress made toward finalizing the plan, which does not have a specified expiration date.
Schultz’s plan was the only proposal the city received earlier this year after issuing a request for proposals to develop the property. So far, the property has not changed hands.
“As we’ve noted before, we don’t close on a property before they have their construction plans, financing, title information, etc. finalized,” Schock wrote, in an email to Wausau Pilot and Review.
The design calls for using the current West Side Battery building, adding a landscaped parking area and an outside river view dining patio and greenhouse, according to the proposal. A new insulated roof, solar hot water heater, LED lighting, high efficiency HVAC and interior framing and insulation is planned, with Gaffney Construction overseeing the project.
Once the plan is finalized, the project is expected to take about a year to finish. The estimated taxable value of the property after completion is $600,000, according to the proposal.