Final plans for Riverside North unveiled

Plans are the result of a week-long session with community input

After decades of debate and a week of intense meetings, plans for the Riverside North property in La Crosse are unveiled Tuesday.

The plans were a joint effort between architects and community input. Mayor Tim Kabat compared the anticipation of the presentation to what a child feels like on Christmas morning.

The plans the community saw Tuesday could shape the Northside of Downtown for a generation. The plans calls for mostly residential property, 542 units to be exact.

It would be broken up into three different neighborhoods with everything from apartments to large houses. Woven into that housing will be light commercial buildings as well as parks and trails.

The waterfront would play a big role, with plans for a floating pier. It’s the result of a week-long planning session that had input from the community every step of the way.

“The plans and what got represented as far as the preferred concept really reflected a lot of the community input, the dialogue, the many meetings,” said Mayor Tim Kabat.

The estimated cost of the project would be about $90 million total. It would take between eight and ten years to complete. Because it’s in the flood plain, the entire area would have to rise about five feet.

Mayor Kabat is confident these are the right plans for the city and they are ready to move forward. “This is a really high priority for the city, so we’re going to move forward, there’s some refinement that has to be done but through our capital budget process is really where the rubber meets the road when it comes to our investment,” said Mayor Kabat.

The Mayor says the city doesn’t have to build everything at once, but planners would like to start with repairing the wetlands, building trails and getting the waterfront building going.

The city feels if they can get that going, everything else will fall into place in the coming years.

The city plans to document all the plans over the Summer and hold more public meetings in August and September. They hope the city council adopts the plans soon after that.