By Shereen Siewert

During a special meeting of the Wausau City Council, members unanimously approved a plan to build a 50-unit affordable housing complex on the former West Side Battery and L&S Printing property on the city’s west side.

The proposal, by Gorman & Co., was chosen last month by the city’s Economic Development Committee over that of Wausau Opportunity Zone, but was given the final nod during Tuesday’s meeting. 

Gorman & Co., LLC is the same group that is undergoing a $20 million historic rehabilitation of the Landmark Apartments in downtown Wausau.

During last month’s ED meeting, Trent Claybaugh, on behalf of Gorman, expanded on his group’s vision for the Westside Battery Lofts, which would create 50 units of affordable housing in a four-story building on the site.

Gorman will pay Wausau $100,000 for the parcel contingent upon an environmental investigation for the project, which would generate roughly $2.23 million in annual tax revenue base for the city after completion.

The 50 units will have monthly rent ranging from $375 to $988, with one three-bedroom unit at $1,142 per month and are income-restricted.

Like the Landmark renovation, the $14.45 million project will rely on a combination of federal and state tax credits and other funding sources. Of that, Claybaugh identified a funding gap of about $1.6 million, which could be largely offset by neighborhood investment funds if the city’s grant application is accepted by the state. Those fund have not yet been approved.

In their proposal, Gorman says the cost figure is consistent with the 19.4% increase in building materials during the 12 months prior to 2021.