Due to some schedule conflicts, I was not able to arrange another trip inside, so I had to brave the cold to get this image.
Great foto. But does anyone else feel some sort of crushing disappointment when a development that’s so shiny and new decides to put an office in its groundfloor space? For those of you who are on the fence about this one pay attention to all the buildings going up around the area – in Schofield – the River Valley Bank Building on 17th Avenue, most of the Stewart Avenue buildings, the Jefferson Ramp and now one of the best corners in town. Oh well, at least it’s not another BANK.
Ten’ll get you twenty he runs out of ways to hide the thing before it opens in spring.
what should it have there instead?
I agree. I do not think retail space applies like for example large apartment buildings in major urban areas.
I think it is fine that there is an office. A consistent tenant. That allows for surrounding businesses to thrive.
I think maybe a cool atrium sort of thing might work as well
When we did the Jefferson Street parking ramp, the idea of ground-level retail space was critical and somewhat controversial. We understood that it would take the market some time to absorb it, but it was something that had to be done at that time to animate the street. The alternative would be to forever doom people to walk past a block of parked cars and thereby permanently diminish the connectivity of the corridor for pedestrians.
Chang Garden is a wonderful example of the kind of thing that it made possible and the arcades were a way to incorporate useful public space. (I thought Gelato Cafe did a great job of incorporating use of the outdoor space and I’ll miss that. Hopefully, new businesses will come that will do the same.)
I share some of the concern over banks and office buildings that don’t incorporate ground-level retail. Sometimes it’s the way things have to be, but anyone who has stayed overnight in a financial district can understand the issues that may be presented. Things can become very sterile and even a little eerie after business hours.
Banks and top-shelf office buildings do a wonderful job of finishing their spaces. The structures are impressive and these tend to be stable occupants. On the downside, they are closed in the evenings, closed on weekends and offer little of interest to people who aren’t actually working or banking there. In the correct measure, they can be a decent part of mixed use development. In incorrect measure, they can make your lunch business great while they ruin your dinner. 🙂
The fundamental is what the market can support… people who build these buildings are expecting a return on investment. Return comes from occupancy of paying tenants.
A long-term, stable professional office type tenant (even if closed evenings and weekends) is preferable to vacant space or retail tenants who cannot make a go of it. Both of those are not only bad for the investor, they are bad for the neighborhood.
Also.. you can’t put the carriage before the horse. In order to have viable downtown retail, you need a stable downtown employment base. Lets face it, the majority of the customers of the downtown businesses are people who work downtown.
Valid points and that is why I said “Sometimes it’s the way things have to be….” Still, the dynamics that various uses create as an impact are worth discussing when it comes to creating a vibrant, healthy environment in an area such as downtown. If you saw things like a number of insurance offices taking up retail storefront space in the Wausau Center mall, for example, you would know that is not necessarily a positive sign going forward. It goes beyond who is willing to reliably write the checks for the rent at the moment.
I actually agree with you there… it surprises me how many non-retail tenants there are at Cedar Creek…. to me.. that screams problems.
Wasn’t this specific building constructed as a gift to Wausau and not money making enterprise for the owner? I swear I read that somewhere.
Yeah, an 11 million dollar gift, right.
I say this…some pool tables, a bunch of lawnchairs, and a cd player. Maybe an xbox, we should be fine.
I do not care what is in the tower, I dig the tower.
I need a girlfriend.
A gift that still must cash flow. If all we cared about was the skyline.. they could just stop on the building now.
It is not the building that adds value to wausau.. it is the jobs that building creates.
as for dino’s girlfriend … I found the future Mrs. Rent on eharmony.
Well, they would have to take down the crane first. And it would be nice if they finished the inside so folks could go in and look around, sounds like it will be pretty cool inside. They could make it nice and open for people to visit and stuff. Right, Mark?
I do look forward to the tribute to the Dudley brothers. Sounds like it will afford a nice view of the river. I don’t get back home very often so I will keep checking your site for the updates. What other building is going on around Wausau? Is there a Red Lobster yet?
I believe the word from corporate headquarters was: “When hell freezes over.” But judging from the handy temperature chart we are pretty close to right now (in case you are not watching the Weather Channel at the moment.) But when they I announce, I am ready for it.
Hope you get back to town soon. Keep reading and thanks for the comments.
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