County plans to develop Lot C - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

County plans to develop Lot C

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 LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Planning exactly what Lot C will look like is a big piece of the administrative center relocation puzzle.

The county must design a plan that includes a slot for the new Associated Bank Building, in order to move forward with closing on the bank building and selling the current administrative center.

Tara Johnson, the chair of the County Board says the hope is that the whole block gets developed.

"I expect to be announcing in the next couple of weeks, the help of a number of community leaders to help us think about what Lot C could look like and what that development might look like for this community," Johnson said.

Robin Moses, the executive director of Downtown Mainstreet Inc. says she's excited about the idea of more businesses downtown.

"It's a great piece of property, the location," Moses said. "It will make in effect on downtown whole so we're very interested in finding out how things progress and what kind of new energy will go in to that parking lot."

Aside from the new Associated Bank building, it's still unclear what types of business will be on Lot C but Moses says diversity is key.

"I think for a healthy downtown you have to make sure there's a good mix of business," Moses said. "You want everything from retail shopping to wonderful restaurants and nightlife and certainly we have a very active restaurant life here in downtown."

The County has to work quickly. The timeline for the whole administrative center relocation plan, requires closing on a development agreement for the lot by May.

"It is a very doable timeline but there are a lot of moving parts to this, there's just no question about it," Johnson said. "But that's also what's really exciting because if everything fits in to place, it could be really great for the city of La Crosse and great for La Crosse County."

Moses says with the right coordination, formulating a plan beneficial to the county, city and downtown by May is possible.

"In order to move along you do have to have some good deadlines.," Moses said. "And I think that to be progressive as a city, you do need to be able to move forward with some of these projects. Whoever you also need to balance that with making sure that whatever development goes in to that lot is the best asset for downtown."

If all goes according to plan, Associated Bank would move to Lot C in March of 2016.

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