Condos Coming?

owners of former Huebsch property are considering a big riverside condominium project

Tom Giffey

An example of what JCAP may build on the Huebsch site.

Would you like to live in a riverfront condominium in downtown Eau Claire, just a short walk from restaurants, bars, theaters, and more? If your answer is “yes,” what would you like to see in such a development in terms of unit design, amenities, green space, and more? You can provide input to these and other questions on March 29 during a forum sponsored by JCAP Real Estate, which hopes to build a condominium development on the former Huebsch Services property along the Eau Claire River on North Dewey Street. JCAP is still studying the feasibility of the project, which it has dubbed The 101, so it’s inviting potential residents and other interested people to the forum, which will be 6-8pm that evening at The Lismore Hotel, 333 Gibson St.

“We’re really interested in building what the community wants,” explains Alex Padrnos, project manager for JCAP. “That’s why were putting all this effort forth.”

Brian Johnson, JCAP’s president, said a previous forum held in January yielded feedback about floorplans, the number of bedrooms per unit, building height, and other topics. Currently, JCAP is considering building two to four four-story buildings on the site, which has been vacant since the former Huebsch building was demolished in November. Interest in the potential condos has come primarily from baby boomers, but JCAP expects to also attract young professionals looking to buy, rather than rent, their residences.

More concept ideas fro Jcap.
More concept ideas fro JCAP.

While the number of housing units in downtown Eau Claire has grown in recent years with the construction of several apartment complexes in the Phoenix Park neighborhood, thus far no developer has created condos. In part, Johnson suspects, this is because there wasn’t an ideal location to build them until now. And making a condo project financial viable can be challenging. “There’s a lot of risk in it,” he says, “but there’s a lot of interest.”

In addition to attracting possible residents, JCAP hopes the forum helps generate the public support that will be necessary for the project to succeed. In part, JCAP hopes that the City of Eau Claire will help the development via tax increment financing, a tool in which increased property tax collections from new developments are used to pay off some of the costs associated with those developments. In downtown Eau Claire, for example, TIF funds have helped pay for the Haymarket Landing mixed-use development, Phoenix Park, and other projects.

Depending on the availability of TIF and other financing as well as other factors, it’s possible that work on The 101 could begin later this year.

Condominium Forum for The 101, a proposed downtown riverfront residential project • 6-8pm, Wednesday, March 29 • The Lismore Hotel, 333 Gibson St., Eau Claire • RSVP by March 24 • (715) 831-3994 • shelly@jcaprealestate.com