Business owners show concern over Northside Redevelopment Plan - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Business owners show concern over Northside Redevelopment Plan

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

The development of a prime piece of La Crosse real estate remains in limbo. The Riverside North Redevelopment project faces a number of obstacles before it can become a reality.

The city of La Crosse is slowly getting closer to solidifying its plans for the old Mobil Oil site along Copeland Avenue.

The Redevelopment Authority met Thursday night at their monthly meeting to talk about the plan and to identify the next steps.

The plan was put together through a week-long period of intense planning and design in May. The majority of the area would be public space with an emphasis on green space. There would be a boardwalk, a public docking area, and both commercial and residential properties. There are no single family homes in the plan, just multi family housing like lofts and apartments.

The estimated value of the development is between $80 and $100 million.

A few local business owners spoke up at Thursday's meeting, voicing concerns over the plan. They all own businesses north of Causeway Boulevard which is the cut-off for the development plan.

They're concerned that the plan will build on land that they own and disrupt their business.

For nearly 50 years the La Crosse Truck Center has done business on Causeway Boulevard. They are open 16 hours a day Monday through Friday and six hours on Saturday.

The Riverside Redevelopment Plan puts loft homes directly across from the Truck Center, which President Steve Heuslein said is land his company uses for storage and parking.

"That would really negatively impact our business if that was taken away from us," said Heuslein.

He said early plans didn't have that development so close to his property, which he said also makes a lot of noise. "We're concerned about noise from our business negatively impacting people across the street."

There are other businesses on Causeway Boulevard with the same noise concerns, but with the plan being phased in over a long period of time, Larry Kirch, the city's Planning Director, and the Redevelopment Authority, think by then things will change.

"Over 30-40 years maybe those businesses would transition as well," said Kirch. But Heuslein said he expects his business to be operating well into the future.

Finding a way to develop the land without jeopardizing current businesses will be a task left to the developers.

The Redevelopment Authority approved the master plan as it is on Thursday, with a caveat to work with the businesses on Causeway Boulevard in the future.

The city council is expected to either approve or reject the proposal at its October 9 meeting.

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