Possible development project could change look of downtown Stevens Point

STEVENS POINT, Wis (WSAW) -- The city of Stevens Point is trying to rebrand its downtown area to make it more appealing to visitors and businesses.

According to city officials, a new development project on the downtown's north side could get them closer to that goal.

In 1995 when the Lullabye Furniture Factory went out of business, they left behind an abandoned lot in downtown Stevens Point. Since then, the city bought it the lot but hasn’t done anything major developments with the nearly four-acre property.

"Currently the city is now seeking out a developer to redevelop the property," said Michael Ostrowski, Director of Community Development and Redevelopment Authority.

On Monday the city of Stevens point reviewed a proposal from Slingshot Architecture of Iowa to turn the lot into a 30,000 square-foot commercial and residential space. The space would include 200 residential units, both apartments and townhomes. Storefronts would be placed on the first floor.

"This project focuses on the need for housing in Stevens Point. Ostrowski added. “Once it’s complete it has the potential of increasing business activity and downtown will become open 24-seven.

If approved by city council, the four-story buildings would begin right away with the first phase to be complete in 2020. Funding for the project is still an ongoing conversation.

Currently developers are looking for feedback from neighbors and the city council. The city plans to host another community meeting in two weeks.