Plans for Eau Claire motel move forward

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Regency Inn & Suites on South Hasting Way has a long history of criminal activities like drugs and human trafficking. Between 2018 and 2020, Eau Claire police responded to over 500 calls at the motel.

This spring the motel was put up for sale after the City of Eau Claire brought forth a lawsuit to close the hotel due to the criminal activity. Now, it could be getting a new owner a new look.

“The process was to take it from its current commercial zoning designation,” Allen Scott, Community Development Director for the City of Claire, said.

Allen says if approved, the new plan would bring housing to the area.

“Part of that request again is to change it from the short-term residential use as a motel to obviously longer-term, more stable housing as just a standard residential use,” Allen said.

Doug Clark is the applicant looking to buy the building. He proposes turning the motel into a 53-unit apartment building with a mix of studio apartments, one-bedroom apartments, and two-bedroom apartments.

“The applicant is actually looking to retain things such as the pool, expanding some other onsite resident amenities interior to the building, and then we’re also looking again at the exterior,” Allen said.

In considering the rezoning request, Allen says the Plan Commission considered how it could revitalize the property.

“Some of those improvements include adding kitchens to each of the units, adding laundry facilities in the unit where non of that exits currently, so really trying to improve the quality of the housing there and again making it a more permanent opportunity of residents,” Allen said.

Allen says if the redevelopment happens, the apartments would be in a convenient location.

“The plus to that though, it would provide fairly easy access to employment, there are pharmacies in the area, there are restaurants on the area, a school in the area memorial high school is right there,” Allen said.

The rezoning proposal for the motel will be up for public comment at the Eau Claire city council meeting Monday night. It is scheduled for a final reading and action to be taken on Tuesday.

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