The city of Wausau moves forward with a new Riverlife developer

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- The east bank of the Wisconsin River in Wausau has looked the same for the past year but that could soon change. The city of Wausau is moving forward with a new developer for their Riverlife project.

The former developer of the Wausau Riverlife project failed to pay contractors resulting in construction halting early last year.

"The first phase of apartments was started by a developer and that developer defaulted last year. The city went through the process to remove that developer and settle out with that developer," explained Christian Schock, Development Director for the City of Wausau.

That developer, Barker Financial will now repay the city the full amount of the loan plus more. "They are paying more than what they owe the city and we will use that to cover the city's legal expenses and other things that taxpayers have endured by the process being delayed a year," said Schock.

The city will then pay the contractors who were not paid by the previous developer. Schock said there will be no extra cost to taxpayers, "There is no additional expense or risk to the taxpayer and the project will hopefully move forward soon."

The city decided to go with a developer they had done business with before. Gorman and Company will now take over the project. "We've done deals with Gorman before they have done projects in the city. They have renovated city buildings and they have bought city property and they are based in Madison," said Schock.

The plans for the project will stay the same. "We'll be working very closely with Gorman to finalize everything," said Schock.

The city expects the approval of the new developer to happen this spring with completion of the Riverlife Villages expected to be spring of 2020.