By Shereen Siewert

Residents and taxpayers are invited to attend a public information meeting Monday to review plans for a $7 million proposal to build higher-end rental units and a multi-tenant office building along Thomas Street.

The project calls for Blenker/Aedfix to buy remnant properties from the city for $1 each to build three 10-unit townhouse-style buildings and one four-unit building. The residential units will include a mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units between Cleveland Avenue and the Thomas Street Bridge.

The multi-tenant commercial building would be constructed on the southwest corner of East Thomas and McCleary Streets.

The developer, which has already built multiple units along the western portion of Thomas Street and additional units on North Third Street, previously sought 20 percent city participation in the form of tax increment financing for the project. But the TID closed in May, before a deal could be finalized.

The future of any additional “mini TIF district” to accommodate the development is unclear at this time.

As part of the proposal, Blenker/Aedfix is asking the city to validate the sites are clean and clear of any contaminants. The properties sought lie in an area with a history of environmental challenges due in part to decades of manufacturing activities in the neighborhood.

Dist. 3 Alder Tom Kilian and Dist. 10 Alder Lou Larson are encouraging residents in the surrounding area to attend Monday’s meeting to learn more about the proposal and provide input. Residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback during the meeting.

Anyone unable to attend can email comments and questions to tom.kilian@ci.wausau.wi.us and lou.larson@ci.wausau.wi.us. Wausau Business Development Specialist Sean Fitzgerald, whose department helped organize the meeting, can be reached at sean.fitzgerald@ci.wausau.wi.us.

Kilian said he is additionally seeking input on the existing Blenker development project on Thomas Street, a project that stirred mixed reaction from residents including significant concerns from some in the neighborhood.

Both Kilian and Larson requested the input session, noting that no public involvement process was scheduled when the proposal was initially received and announced by the previous administration.

See a YouTube video outlining the project, along with proposal documents and a media announcement from Kilian, below.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17 at Riverside Park at the outdoor shelter area north of the main parking log.

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