By Shereen Siewert
A $1.5 million proposal for a new restaurant at the former Westside Battery and L&S Printing site in Wausau has been withdrawn and city officials will discuss issuing a new request for proposals at a meeting next week.
Members of the Wausau City Council in January gave the nod to a proposal for The Dam Place, which would have served breakfast and lunch and offered catering services. City officials then approved transferring the property to the project planners for $1.
Wausau Business Development Specialist Sean Fitzgerald said the property had not yet changed hands. The team spearheading The Dam Place informed the city in late June that they would withdraw from the project, Fitzgerald said.
The project involved two parcels of property at 415 S. First Ave., both which are owned by the city. City leaders in September 2016 purchased the Westside 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.
City officials in October scuttled a prior plan for the properties by Clint Schulz, who withdrew his plan to create a 99-seat Urban Street Bistro restaurant more than two years after his initial proposal was approved. Then valued at about $600,000, the project asked for a $100,000 commercial loan and a $150,000 MCDEVCO commercial equipment loan, while purchasing the property from the city for $225,000.
Schulz backed away from the project several months after he was caught shoplifting about $429 worth of food, supplies and electronics from a Rib Mountain business.
Fitzgerald said the Economic Development committee will decide whether issuing a new request for proposals on the property at this time makes sense during their meeting next week.
The Economic Development Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, at City Hall, 407 Grant St., Wausau.