LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- A plan has been put in place to develop the 10-acre plot of land on La Crosse's north side known as the "Plant Six" site.
The site used to house a Trane Co. manufacturing plant. It was bought by the La Crosse Industrial Park Corporation, or LIPCO, which is a collaboration between the City, Xcel Energy and the La Crosse Area Development Corporation, in 1997.
LIPCO has since demolished the old Trane plant and cleaned up the site's soil, which had been contaminated by chemicals and oil over the years. In June, it issued a call for proposals from developers to build up the land.
At a news conference Tuesday, the City announced LIPCO had accepted a proposal from Borton Three Sixty, a collaboration of La Crosse's Borton Construction and Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions businesses, to buy the Plant Six site for $1.9-million and turn it into a development featuring businesses and housing.
The proposal must be approved by the city council, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must verify the soil at the site is clean before the development can proceed.
The Plant Six site is a part of council member Ryan Cornett's district. He said the council is likely to approve the redevelopment.
"It brings in jobs, it brings people to the community and helps promote the tax base," he said.
"When this was in its heyday and it was a manufacturing complex for Trane Co. it was obviously generating jobs and tax base," said Mayor Tim Kabat.
"Having it sit vacant does nothing for our community," Kabat said.
Borton Construction owner Paul Borsheim said his company is excited about the prospects of developing the Plant Six land.
"We're going to be right on George Street, which is one of the three main thoroughfares, through La Crosse," Borsheim said, "it's very centrally located, which really gives (the location) a lot of benefits."
Borsheim said his company already has commitments from a Minneapolis realtor, hoping to build 60 units of housing, as well as a local doctor that both will move into the new space if the development proceeds.
Much of the 10-acre property will be left open in anticipation of further expansion in the future.
"We've had multiple conversations with businesses that are looking, in the La Crosse market, for places to relocate so they can expand their business," Borsheim said.
The new development would be called the Red Cloud Enterprise Center.
Kabat said he believes the total cost of the project would be "between $15 and $18-million" dollars.
Pending the council's approval, Borsheim said he would like to break ground on the Plant Six site in the summer of 2014. He said the first couple of buildings should be complete by "mid 2015."
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