By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU, Wis. — Wausau Mayor Rob Mielke on Thursday held a media roundtable to announce that Riverlife Villages Phase One development is underway and could open as soon as next spring.

Mitch Viegut, part of the development team that is now spearheading the development, spoke on behalf Riverlife, LLC, a team that also includes Bob Ohde and Dr. Fernando Riveron. The floor plan now includes a diversified mix of apartment sizes, many with balconies and larger windows. The four-story building will feature 75 units, 11 of which are three-bedroom units, along with a fitness center and club room for residents. Apartment sizes range from 582 to 1,856 square feet.

A development agreement was signed in May.

So far, workers have concentrated on removing old trailers, trash, and brush from the area, while re-certifying the geopiers for the building is underway. Within 60 days, Viegut said, actual construction is likely to begin on the roughly $11 million project.

Mielke said all primary contractor liens have been satisfied and the project is moving forward without any additional city assistance to the new development team.

In addition to Riverlife Villages, Mielke said the city will soon issue a request for proposals to develop more than 10 acres of land for an area that included the former Great Lakes Cheese, which relocated to Wausau’s Business Campus with $5.9 million assistance from the city.

Viegut said he and his two business partners all live within blocks of the new development.

“We have the wherewithal to get it done,” Viegut said.