Intensive Riverside North planning begins Wednesday - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Intensive Riverside North planning begins Wednesday

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The Riverside North Redevelopment is a project 30 years in the making. Now city officials are calling this week “the beginning of the end” of the process.

Wednesday begins an intensive weeklong planning process to come up with a plan for the Riverside North property.

It's 65 acres of land on La Crosse's north side, including the former Exxon-Mobile site.

Mayor Tim Kabat and members of the Redevelopment Authority met at the Mississippi River Riverwalk Monday to show what redevelopment can do for the community.

That site was developed under the watch of former Mayor John Medinger who said the change is needed for the city's tax base and to fix up blighted areas.

"You know, mayors come and go but we have this beautiful city here that's had a very interesting past, it's got a bright future... Riverside North is going to be a big part of our future, and if done right it'll be something we can be proud of for decades and decades to come,” Medinger said.

For the past three months the city has been hosting a series of community meetings to discuss urban development and environmental protections.

City planning director Larry Kirch said community input is crucial during this upcoming charrette.

We've spent a lot of time and effort and energy – over 30 years – rebuilding our downtown . So what we don't want to do is have a mini downtown north,” Kirch said. “So I think we're not looking at putting office space up there, but having probably housing and some sort of commercial (retailer). There may be a marina.”

The charrette runs through May 20.

Mayor Kabat said he hopes plans are up for a final vote from the city council by the end of summer.

For a schedule of the planning process, click here.

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