By Shereen Siewert

Wausau will take a more detailed look at two projects vying for a spot along the north riverfront, after both interested developers submitted renderings and other requested information.

The projects are responses to a request for proposals for three lots directly south of the Wausau on the Water building, north of Stinchfield Creek. The projects both involve a mix of commercial and residential uses for the property, but are very different in scope and price.

Riverlife Wausau, LLC, the local group that developed The Apartments at Riverlife, is proposing the smaller of the two developments. The $8 million project comprises a single facility that includes 39 market-rate apartments, 39 underground parking spaces and a portion of first-floor, multi-tenant commercial space. The group proposes buying the land from the city for $165,000 while receiving $688,000 in TIF funding to assist with the complex environmental issues working with the land.

Although not mentioned specifically in the proposal, the developer has indicated verbally that construction could begin later in 2021. The construction value of this project would generate estimated annual property taxes of $201,000 based on the 2020 tax rate, according to city documents.

Mitch Viegut last month told the Economic Development Committee that the group deliberately chose a smaller number of apartments to preserve the unique public space represented by the riverfront and avoid overbuilding apartment spaces in the community.

The second proposal was presented by Middleton-based T. Wall Enterprises, which involves buying all three lots for $400,000 to build three four-story buildings. The larger-scale, $24.9 million project would feature 123 market-rate apartments with 82 underground parking spaces and about 2,300 square feet of first-floor commercial space per building, according to the proposal in the city packet. The two-phase project would begin with two buildings in spring of 2022 with a third building, just off of River Drive, being built the following year. T. Wall seeks $2,590,303 in TIF assistance from the city.

The developer would conduct the project in two phases, starting the first two buildings along the river in spring 2022. The third building would begin construction in 2023.

The construction value of the larger project would generate estimated annual property taxes of $580,000 based on the 2020 tax rate, according to city documents. T. Wall Enterprises sent media outlets a detailed comparison of both projects on Wednesday. The document is embedded below.

Both proposals were well received, but members of the committee asked for more detailed plans before making a recommendation to the full council. Now, the group will see renderings of the proposed buildings and will review additional information about each plan and its potential impact on the community.

The projects will be reviewed during a special meeting of the Economic Development Committee set for 5:15 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 407 Grant St., Wausau.

A request for proposals went out in January.