5 Ways Eau Claire Is (And Isn’t) Developing

Tom Giffey


Nearly half of all residential development in Eau Claire last year occurred on the west side, according to a new report from the city’s Department of Community Development. Specifically, 120 of 251 new residential units were built in that part of town, including 26 single-family homes, 46 condominiums, 18 duplexes, and 18 multifamily units.


Both the north and south sides of Eau Claire also came out on top for particular kinds of residential development in 2018. Thirty-four single-family homes were built on the north side, more than any other quadrant of the city, while the 56 multifamily units built on the south side outpaced the number of such dwellings built in all other neighborhoods combined. As for the east side, only 10 residential units of any kind were built there last year.


Overall, the number of dwellings built in Eau Claire in 2018 was relatively flat compared with recent years: The total of 251 units was higher than the 228 constructed in 2017 but lower than the total of 278 in 2016. When it comes to residential development in Eau Claire, the decade since the nationwide housing collapse has been lackluster: Between 2009 and 2018, an average of 202 units were built annually, compared with 363 in the preceding decade.


The average price for newly built homes has declined about 7% over the past two years, going from $274,793 in 2016 to $254,236 in 2018. And while this could be seen as a shift toward more affordable housing, in reality new houses are still comparatively expensive: In 2008, for instance, the average new home in Eau Claire cost $160,566.


Unsurprisingly, considering that new houses and apartments are being built, the population of Eau Claire continues to rise. An estimated 68,043 people lived here in 2018, and that number is projected to hit 69,225 by the 2020 census. That would be an increase of 5% from the 2010 headcount.

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.