The Development Maze
A notice of legal action from T. Wall Enterprises details an allegedly messy development process
Last year The Wausonian reported on the collapse of the third Riverlife project — the second to hit serious snags and one of many development projects to fall through in the last decade.
An agenda item appeared on this month’s Economic Development Committee meeting agenda that promised some legal action from T. Wall Enterprise over the situation. T. Wall had been approved by city officials last year to complete the mixed-use building in Wausau’s flagship development area along the river.
There was a lot of he said/she said around the situation. T. Wall Enterprise claimed they were never given site access because the whole thing essentially became an Abbot and Costello “Who’s on First?” routine; city officials said the company never provided the proper insurance documentation.
T. Wall’s timeline of events laid out in the legal notice seem to point to a “too many cooks” scenario. It’s something city hall has been accused of in the past, never getting clear answers and getting sent around in circles to accomplish something pretty simple.
Here’s the timeline as T. Wall lays it out:
May 3, 2021: T. Wall expresses to then Economic Development Manager Sean Fitzgerald the need to quickly conduct soil borings.
May 11, 2021: The city sends T. Wall an access agreement. The developer and the city met a few days later and the access agreement apparently doesn’t allow for soil borings. So they decide to simply agree to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) instead.
May 18: T. Wall sends the city an MOU for them to review.
May 24: The city attorney says that, instead of a memorandum of understanding, the city wants a full developers agreement.
May 28: The city attorney sends a draft developers agreement to T. Wall.
May 29-Aug. 2: T. Wall and the city negotiate.
Aug. 3-4: There is some back and forth about a new draft of the agreement. City leaders tell T. Wall they don’t want to do a developers agreement any more. They suggest a planning option instead.
Jan. 4: The Economic Development Committee approves the planning agreement. T. Wall, according to Terrence Wall, agrees to it despite not having any say in the agreement’s formation. That’s to finally get the project moving.
Feb. 9: T. Wall reached out to Brad Lenz and Liz Brodek to tell them T. Wall wanted to test the soil the week of Feb. 21, and if that would serve as proper notice.
Feb. 10: The city asked for a sampling plan.
Feb. 14-16: T. Wall says it provided the plans (14th), as well as insurance information to them (16th).
Feb. 23: The city attorney contacted the developer to say they needed to review the insurance contracts with each of the contractors. According to the documents, the insurance had to specifically reference the Riverlife property and the planning option. All that needed to be done before work could commence.
March 1: The planning option expires.
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