Eau Claire is no stranger to redevelopment.
After the successful completion of the Phoenix Park area and Confluence Project, eyes are now turning towards the completion of the Cannery District downtown.
The redevelopment of the Cannery District has been in progress for more than 10 years and developers of the project say it is bringing new economic life to the area.
The plan is looking to improve part of the city through new businesses and housing projects according to Aaron J. White, the Economic Development Manager for The City of Eau Claire.
“The Cannery District is an area along the rivers in Eau Claire that extends along oxford avenue, from Madison street, north up to the high bridge,” White said. “This is an area that the RDA, or Redevelopment Authority, has identified as the next area that they would like to try and make improvements in.”
Redevelopment authority member, Dr. Thomas Kemp, has been working on the Cannery District proposal since its inception, and says that there are a lot of people involved in the redevelopment process.
“It takes a long time for these things to occur because there are so many different individuals involved with this type of activity,” Kemp said. “Just think of all the property owners in that area. Some may own properties that they’re renting, some may own small businesses, some may own retail outlets, and they all have a variety of interests in this area.”
The district is currently benefiting from businesses such as Kwik Trip, The Brewing Projekt, and The Classic Garage.
There are also plans to add new housing to the area, which developers say will eventually gentrify the entire district and will have a positive ripple effect on other districts.
Even with the long process, White says they are optimistic about the future of the cannery district.
“We’re just excited to see the potential in that area,” White said. “There is a lot of interest in development down there, and we’re looking forward to seeing some proposals coming forward.”
Developers say they hope the Cannery District can be as successful as the area north of the Eau Claire River.
The Eau Claire City Council met on Monday to have a public hearing about a portion of the Cannery District.