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Swiderski chosen to build new Riverlife mixed-use building | Wausau News
The Weekly Wausonian for Aug. 4, 2022
Back in 2016, when the city was ready to build the very first development on the brand new Riverlife area, a converted industrial wasteland, S.C. Swiderski was one of two developers to pitch to the city.
Swiderski’s proposal was solid, they were local and they demonstrated that they understood the community. Frantz Community Investors’ proposal, while having nicer-looking renderings, came across as cookie-cutter by comparison.
So many in the audience were surprised when the city chose Frantz over Swiderski. And city leaders were likely just as surprised when Frantz got about as far as partially building a foundation before Frantz’s finances collapsed around them.
On Tuesday, city leaders chose Swiderski over J. Jeffries to build a $45 million mixed-use development in the third Riverlife parcel, taking over the space left by T. Wall Enterprises. T. Wall had originally been selected for the site but fell out with the city over disputes about site access (see The Wausonian’s report on the legal noticed T. Wall sent to the city).
Swiderski is asking for more than $6 million in reverse-TIF tax incentives, but that pales against the $27 million in incentives J. Jeffries had asked for; nearly half the project.
If approved by the city council, Swiderski will start construction on the 200-unit complex in May 2024, and complete the building in 2026. Swiderski will handle all aspects of the construction, design and tenant management.
What else in Wausau?
A man who’d pleaded guilty to shooting three people and killing one 1 in the Pine Grove Cemetery in 2019 attempted to withdraw his plea. A judge denied the withdrawal for Henry West, who also pleaded to attempting to burn down the apartment building in which he lived. He will now be sentenced on Aug. 9.
Remember Exhibitour? It’s coming back this summer. The event, which pairs wine with art as local downtown businesses become art galleries for the evening, will take place Aug. 13. The event was founded in 2005 and canceled in 2013 over legal concerns. It was brought back in 2018 after the state changed its laws regarding winewalks. This year’s will be the first time the event has been held since 2019, before the pandemic.
A new radio station aimed at left-wing listeners went live this week. 98.9FM, previously a sports station, became transitioned to left-wing talk format. Minocua Brewing Company owner Kirk Bangstad announced his left-wing super PAC would help fund advertising for the station. Bangstad said liberal talk radio is needed to counter the prevalence of right-wing radio around the area. Wausonian investigated his super PAC, which Bangstad refused to answer questions about.
Around the metro
The Department of Natural Resources set a new PFAS standard this week — and it’s different than the number being floated around. The DNR set a 70 parts per trillion standard on all drinking water for the set of “forever chemicals” found in every day products that are believed to cause cancer and other health concerns. That level is different than the 20 ppt level the Department of Health Services has been pushing and that most municipalities have been trying to operate under. It’s not yet clear how that standard will affect current efforts toward reducing PFAS.
Many residents voiced concerns about a planned mining operation in the Reef deposit near the Eau Claire Dells. Green Light Metals is planning to do exploratory drilling for gold and copper later this year, in two six-week intervals, and says those results could lead to a mining operation. The application with the county, as long as it meets county standards, must be approved according to rules set in 2017 when the state opened metallic mining.
The owners of Sugar and Spice Cheesecake are renovating the Frostman’s Fish Market building on Second Avenue. Sugar and Spice is a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Center. The owners hope to have the cheesecake business opened in September.
I’m excited to announce that The Wausonian has been accepted into the Substack Defender program. The program provides legal protection from lawsuits related to libel and legal protections. Not every substack publication is accepted so I’m honored The Wausonian was considered worthy of this program.
Saturday, Aug. 6: If you’ve never been to the Palm’s, it has one really cool round bar inside (which has got to be a nightmare as a bartender, but darned cool for patrons!). The Palm’s is going to host Alternburgh, Viegut and Saindon this Saturday starting at 6 pm. The group is comprised of jazz legend and producer John Alternburgh, local rockstars Mitch Viegut and Dave Saindon (part of nationally acclaimed Airkraft in the 80s and early 90s). Though it is technically part of Wausau West’s 40th high school reunion, it’s open to anyone in this big top tent show, according to their Facebook post. So go rock your 80s self.
Friday, Aug. 5: A.J. Lee and the Blue Summit has toured all over the world, and just released its latest album in 2021. The Bay Area band has been tearing up the bluegrass scene with their unique blend of harmonies and unique blend of influences. If you think bluegrass all sounds the same, this band will change your mind! Show starts at 8 pm. See more on the event’s page.
Thursday, Aug. 5: Yoga is good for you; free yoga is good for you and your wallet. Yoga has gotten kind of expensive around the Wausau area so a free option is always awesome! Join Mary Kluz for an evening of yoga amongst the outdoor sculptures on the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum grounds. Starts at 5:30 pm. Bring your mat and water and all that, and feel free to take in the grounds and galleries as well, since they stay open until 7:30 pm that night. More details on the event’s page.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the full listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
The Wausau Woodchucks dropped a high-scoring game to the Kenosha Kingfish Monday night, 13-11 in what proved to be a four-hour game. The Chucks are now 29-31 on the season heading into the final stretch, and have dropped to fourth place in the Great Lakes West division (12-12). The Chucks have a four-game homestand starting Saturday as they head into the final week of the regular season.
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Correction: The post originally misstated the number of people killed by West. It has been corrected here and the correct information is included in the latest report on West’s sentencing.