It's close to a done deal. Except for some paperwork that those involved say should be done Friday, the Gateway Hotel project is ready to get underway.
"We're proceeding," said Mark Craig, Compass Properties, "We're working on finishing up the documentation between the band and the city to finalize the financing."
Demolition of the existing structures on Second Street should start in February, making space for the 62-room hotel. It's a project that the architect says is a blend of the area's history with the ongoing revitalization of downtown Wausau.
"What you see in the design is a combination of things," said Architect Jim Gersich, "But certainly we've picked up on elements of buildings that were turn of the century buildings in Wausau."
The city will contribute more than $1 million to prepare the site for construction. That preparation will include roadwork that will coincide with other projects in the area, including the Jefferson Street corridor.
"So, there will be a lot of construction taking place in downtown Wausau in '04," said Craig.
Craig says a temporary road out of the J C Penny's parking lot should alleviate some of the congestion. The entire project should be complete by early 2005.