Author Archives: marcus

Wausau Master Plan 2000

Perhaps the “Friday Dudley” prompted Marcus to send this along:

Does anyone remember 2000 when the Wausau Master Plan was introduced by Mayor Lawrence & Company?

Might I call your attention to page 19, section F – The Riverfront “Superblock” District. From the looks of recent growth, the spirit of the plan is mostly in effect. Except for two things, the new parking structure and The River Place Building.

This $22M open-air auto storage is mostly empty I might add, but a future referendum may be on the ballot soon for a future expansion of two more levels of empty parking. [nice!] This was suggested as a compromise, since the city was going to have to fork over another $2M for the preparation of the top floor to build condos (as was previously planned).

The second part I need to point out is the recommendation of Madison’s City Vision: The site abutting 1st Street, north of the Library, should be kept in architectual scale with the river, and its ultimate use should be riverfront oriented. See page 44 for a rendered drawing.

Okay, so someone goofed on this one. While I’m all for downtown development – even “sacrificing” a project I was involved in (Rockwater) to make room, I do think someone needs to remind city officials that they already spent quite a bit of money to get a recommendation for future growth. That plan entailed a “River Front” development philosophy.

Meanwhile Wausau Benefits has made a wonderful investment with their newest office construction (Ironically, naming the building River Place) So, why all the fuss? It’s to point out that Wausau is allowing it to happen again. The Dudley Brothers Building.

Nothing against the Dudleys, who are certainly one of a handful of innovative thinkers in the city, it’s just counterintuitive to block the River Front. Again.

The powers at City Hall just don’t get this. Here they have this unique River Front, and no one is capitalizing on it! At least, not in a community focused manner. Outside of a few Kayak races, what is drawing people to the river?

Perhaps I’m underestimating the new Dudley Brothers Building, but how hard would it be to create the first floor in such a way as to “launch” a string of new businesses along the water front? Perhaps eateries and a small marina for boaters to float into? This would have a profound effect on the downtown area, wouldn’t it? Promoting the waterfront as a gathering place?

This, in my opinion, would be of the best interest to the community.