Friday, Dec. 22nd, 2017

No-Go on Former Huebsch Property Condos: Developers Pivot to Apartments

A demolition crew ripped down the former Huebsch building, 101 N. Dewey St., in downtown Eau Claire on Nov. 29, 2016.
A demolition crew ripped down the former Huebsch building, 101 N. Dewey St., in downtown Eau Claire on Nov. 29, 2016. Current owner of the property JCap Real Estate has new plans for the land.

Plans to build a riverside condominium development in downtown Eau Claire have been shelved in favor of building a complex with market-rate apartments and commercial space.

JCap Real Estate recently told people who had expressed interest in the previous plan that a condo development on the former Huebsch Services building site wasn’t financially feasible.

Based on the input that JCap had received from potential condo buyers, the construction cost of the condo development – dubbed The 101 – would have forced JCap to charge those buyers far above market rate for the condos, said Alex Padrnos, JCaps’s project manager.

“We don’t feel comfortable putting that price tag on the units in this market,” Padrnos said. “We’re still relatively blue collar in Eau Claire.”

This floorplan shows what the first level of a proposed five-story apartment complex at the corner of Galloway and North Dewey streets could look like. Most of the parking on the east end of the image would be covered by the higher floors of the building. Source: JCap Real Estate/Kaas Wilson Architects.
This floorplan shows what the first level of a proposed five-story apartment complex at the corner of Galloway and North Dewey streets could look like. Most of the parking on the east end of the image would be covered by the higher floors of the building. Source: JCap Real Estate/Kaas Wilson Architects. Click for a closer look.

Instead, the company has switched to plans for a five-story, 139-unit apartment building with commercial space on the first floor. Units would range in size from 600 to 1,400 square feet. Most would have market-rate rents, while a few luxury apartments on the fifth floor would be aimed toward those who had been interested in condominiums. In addition, the development would include 224 parking stalls – including a 26-stall lot facing North Dewey Street – and a public space and canoe launch next to where the Dewey Street bridge crosses the Eau Claire River.

The two-acre site at the intersection of North Dewey and Galloway streets has been empty since the long-vacant Huebsch building was demolished in November 2016. JCap, which owns numerous rental properties in Eau Claire, purchased the property from Jack Kaiser, owner of Banbury Place.

Padrnos said JCap has had preliminary discussions about the proposal with the city, and has met with a positive response. A site plan still must be approved by the city Plan Commission. JCAP hopes to break ground for the project this spring with completion by the spring or summer of 2019.

The city also has plans for that part of downtown, including relocating part of the Chippewa River State Trail which currently runs on the north side of the property (just south of Galloway Street). That trail segment would be moved to the south side of the property, where it would overlook the Eau Claire River, then pass under the Dewey Street bridge and connect with the trail adjacent to the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce building, City Manager Dale Peters said. The bike trail underpass would be built as part of a long-term plan to renovate and re-deck the bridge, which is slated for 2020 or 2021. Peters said connections would be built to allow visitors and bikers to access other parts of downtown to and from this trail segment.

Peters said the former Huebsch site is “an integral part of downtown and we’d be excited to see something in that space.” And while the city has yet to receive official plans from JCap, city officials are “open to discussions about a site development that provides appropriate open space ad access to the downtown and the river,” Peters said.

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Wednesday, Dec. 20th, 2017

Winter After Hours Roars Back Like a Blizzard of Fun (New Location)

The Chippewa Valley’s annual hangout celebrating outdoor winter activities is back. Escape your winter bunker and bring the family to Winter After Hours, presented by Mayo Clinic Health System in partnership with Outdoor More, Volume One, and the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. Beginning Jan. 4, this snow-based social will be held from 6-8pm every Thursday during January and February (weather permitting, of course). But this year, everything's new. 

From its new base at Pinehurst Park on Eau Claire’s north side, Winter After Hours challenges residents to embrace the beautiful snow rather than grimace at it. Pinehurst is the perfect place to engage in winter fun such as sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on groomed and lit trails, and much more. No snowshoes or skates? No problem. Thanks to Outdoor More and Riverside Bike and Skate, there will be inexpensive equipment rentals: Ice skates will be only $3 and a limited number of snowshoes will be available for $5. Still not willing to leave the comfort of your couch? Impromptu hockey games are encouraged, downhill fat tire biking is available, and you can feel free to make a snowman or snow angel. And if none of these things are your thing, then check out the giant fire pit, music, free hot cocoa, and the warming house. And (unlike Winter After Hour’s previous home in Boyd Park) visitors will find plenty of parking at Pinehurst Park. 

Winter After Hours is supported by Mayo Clinic Health System, Deborah Becker State Farm Insurance, Riverside Bike & Skate, Trust Point, and Markquart Motors. 

Visit volumeone.org/winter 
to find more information and updates
about Winter After Hours. 

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Tuesday, Dec. 12th, 2017

Eau Claire Author Featured in New York Times Book Review

Molly Patterson
Local author Molly Patterson

UW-Eau Claire assistant professor and local author Molly Patterson’s novel, Rebellion, was featured in the New York Times Book Review on Nov. 22. The book, which was published in August, tells the story of four women from different homes and times who are impacted by the 1899 Boxer Rebellion in China. In praising the book, reviewer Jan Stuart wrote that, “Patterson adroitly zigzags in time, threading the women’s journeys with subtle detail and embellishing them with metaphors specific to each character." Patterson, a Pushcart Prize-winning writer, will host a dramatic reading from her novel in The Local Store gallery on Thursday, Dec. 16, at 3pm.  She will also be available to answer questions and sign copies of the text.

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Clash With the Ash: Tree-Killing Ash Borer Finally Reaches Eau Claire County

Eau Claire County residents can no longer transport firewood in or out of the area upon the discovery of emerald ash borers in a local tree. The ash borer is a species of iridescent green beetle that kills ash trees. The beetles themselves eat foliage, causing little harm. The larvae, however, feed on the inner bark of the trees, which damages the plant’s ability to transport water and nutrients throughout its system. Infestations are generally difficult to detect until the tree is beyond saving. In recent years, the insect has gradually spread across most of Wisconsin’s counties, including Chippewa, Buffalo, Trempealeau, and Jackson.

Arborist Lucas Stelter recently discovered the infested tree on the UW-Eau Clare campus just south of Water Street. He noticed extensive woodpecker damage caused by the birds eating the larvae.  Other signs of infestation include drying or thinning of tree crowns, D-shaped exit holes on the trunk, splitting bark, and tunneling marks under bark.

The City of Eau Claire has been preparing for the arrival of the emerald ash borer for the past five seasons. The city has made efforts to plant a diverse range of tree species in public spaces, and developed a plan to selectively treat and remove affected trees.

“Ash trees will die due to this insect, unless they are chemically treated with insecticides,” a Dec. 4 press release from the City of Eau Claire said. Residents with ash trees may consider treating them with pesticides in order to stave off infestation. Products are available for homeowners to handle the issue themselves, although larger trees might merit the attention of a professional.

Affected trees may pose risk of injury as their branches weaken and potentially fall off.  Proper disposal methods of infested trees include chipping to pieces ½ inch or smaller, burning, or covering cut wood to dry for two years.

More information on the emerald ash borer can be found at datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab

Image: Howard Russell/Michigan State University

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Wednesday, Dec. 6th, 2017

Blue Ox Unleashes 2018 Lineup

Greensky Bluegrass at Blue Ox 2017
Greensky Bluegrass at Blue Ox 2017

For its fourth year, the Blue Ox Music Festival is back with a loaded lineup of rootsy greats to come play some tunes in the pine and hardwood forests just outside of Eau Claire. Hosted by Minneapolis band Pert Near Sandstone (who will again play two nights of the three-day fest this year), Blue Ox showcases some of the brightest talents American roots, folk, and bluegrass music has to offer for three summery nights in the Chippewa Valley.

In 2018, Blue Ox takes place June 14-16 at the Whispering Pines Campground, and we’ll see some familiar faces like Greensky Bluegrass, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Charlie Parr as well as some newcomers like The Devil Makes Three, Margo Price, and The Steeldrivers. It’s always a downright hoot with the best of the best pickin’ and pluckin’ right in our backyard.

Tickets are on sale now at www.blueoxmusicfestival.com and the full lineup is available below, but keep in mind that additional artists and collaborations will be announced for the late-night stage in the near future – as well as any plans for pre-parties or similar events.

Blue Ox Music Festival 2018 Lineup 

Billy Strings
Brothers Comatose
Buffalo Gospel
Charlie Parr
Chicken Wire Empire
Danny Barnes Trio
Del McCoury Band
The Devil Makes Three
Greensky Bluegrass
Horseshoes & Handgrenades
The Infamous Stringdusters
Jack Klatt
Jeff Austin Band
Kind Country
Kitchen Dwellers
The Last Revel
The Lil’ Smokies
Lindsey Lou
Mandolin Orange
Margo Price
Mipso
Pert Near Sandstone
Pistol Whippin Party Penguins
Sam Bush
The Steeldrivers
Steep Canyon Rangers
Them Coulee Boys
The Tillers
Tyler Childers

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Thursday, Nov. 30th, 2017
Tuesday, Nov. 28th, 2017
Monday, Nov. 27th, 2017

Twas a Big Shop-Local Weekend [videos]

A major reason Volume One exists is to share all the cool stuff going on at small businesses around the Chippewa Valley. That’s why few things get us as excited each year as the tradition of Small Business Saturday – the day when good people come out in droves to explore and support all the mom-n-pop shops out there.

This year we took our enthusiasm up a notch and partnered with seven different retailers on the morning of Small Business Saturday for a series of Facebook Live broadcasts. So our crew loaded up on coffee and donuts and hit the streets.

We visited The Local Store, Banbury Place Building 13, Muldoon’s Men’s Wear, Williams Diamond Center, Blue Ox Running, Tangled Up in Hue, and Sky Yoga. We heard directly from the owners and managers about why supporting small businesses is so important, checked out some fun products, and heard what shoppers had to look forward to through the rest of the holiday season.

Check out the live segments ­– with your host Kiah Sexton – here below in the order we stopped by, and spread the word on these and so many other great local retailers all over the Chippewa Valley. And remember, shopping local doesn’t have to be limited to Small Business Saturday. Get out there and make your impact on the community with every dollar you spend this season!

The Local Store: A warm and historic space filled with lots of local love

205 N. Dewey Street, downtown Eau Claire
Visit thelocalstore.org


Banbury Place Building 13: Unique experiences and spaces to explore

930 Galloway Street, Eau Claire
look for the green awning!


Muldoon’s Men’s Wear: Lots of fun gifts and accessories for him (and her!)

1506 Hastings Way, Eau Claire
Muldoon's Mens' Wear website »


Williams Diamond Center: Expert advice and design for affordable (and high end) jewelry

2823 London Road #4, Eau Claire
Williams Diamond Center website »


Blue Ox Running: A brand new running store for runners of all speeds

417 S. Barstow Street, Eau Claire
Blue Ox Running website »


Tangled Up in Hue: A downtown favorite packed with handmade goods

505 S. Barstow Street, Eau Claire
Tangled Up in Hue website »


Sky Yoga: A brand new yoga studio with specialty offerings

415 ½ S. Barstow Street, Eau Claire
Sky Yoga website »


This post was produced through a partnership with the fine establishments listed above. Learn more »

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Wednesday, Nov. 15th, 2017

Eaux Claires 2018 Dates! (And also – check out our Troix look back video)

Eaux Claires 2017
Eaux Claires 2017 | Image: Lee Butterworth

After three years of eclectic performances in almost every imaginable sphere of art, the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival is cracking the ice around year four to reveal the dates for 2018’s fest – July 6 and 7 right here in Eau Claire. The festival – known for its cryptic nature – teased some inner workings with audio of a few phone calls between co-creators Justin Vernon and Michael Perry about jumper cables (the long ones). Then later, they teased some more action by soliciting audio clips of fans and past attendees to talk about their experiences.

Now with today's announcement, the festival has released a half-hour long audio mashup of fan's comments mixed around eclectic songs of all kinds (perhaps from some artists on the 2018 lineup? We'll let you speculate!), beats, trippy pitch-bending effects, and other auditory nuggets. You can listen to that and cop early bird tickets right now at eauxclaires.com.

In announcing the dates, the fest pasted up posters along the outside of the Fire House bar in downtown Eau Claire. The posters display a link to the aforementioned audio file. Check it out ...

And now that we have the dates ...

You can mark those calendars and start yearning for the forthcoming humidity and artistic thrills of summer 2018. And what better way to remind yourself of that magic than to relive Eaux Claires Troix with our recap video (below). Our intrepid videographers caught every nook and cranny of last summer’s festival – from the booming musical moments on stage to quiet rainy solitude of the wooded art installations – and condensed it all into a three-minute gem of the best of the best moments year three had to offer.

Filmed and edited for V1 by Anthony Casanova. Additional camerawork by Jon Hamblin and Joel Pearish.

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