Wausau’s Economic Development Committee approves ‘affordable’ housing complex on West Side Battery lot

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:28 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau’s Economic Development Committee voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a plan to build affordable housing on the West Side Battery site.

Wausau’s Economic Development Committee heard two proposals at the Nov. 2 meeting for the former West Side Battery lot.

At the meeting, the committee decided it was too early to make a decision. The Committee reconvened and voted 5-0 for Gorman & Company LLC’s proposal for a 50-unit ‘affordable’ housing complex over WOZ’s proposal for a community space.

“We’re really excited to be doing another project in Wausau,” Development Manager for Gorman & Company LLC, Trent Claybaugh said.

“I think it is a really restricted site but we’ve come up with creative ways to overcome that and utilize the space to its highest and best use,” he added.

The plan faces a number of hurdles including old sanitary sewer lines, railroad tracks, and electrical transformers.

“When we were coming into this we anticipated that there were going to be a lot of issues with this site,” Claybaugh said. He explained that Gorman & Company built in roughly a 10-percent-over-budget buffer.

After the committee went into a closed session to discuss the two proposals further, it returned approximately 10 minutes later to reveal and explain its decision.

“We have needs for housing at all income levels, we have needs for affordable housing...and the project that’s been put before us by Gorman. It does check all the boxes along those lines,” 7th District Alderperson, Lisa Rasmussen said.

NewsChannel 7 did reach out to WOZ for comment before the committee made a decision, but declined.

The proposal will now head to the Plan Commission for a decision Tuesday, Nov. 16.

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