Developers Buy Final Two North Barstow Plots
after years of effort, downtown redevelopment area nears completion
Nearly two decades after redevelopment began in the once-neglected North Barstow Street neighborhood, the final two parcels there owned by the city’s Redevelopment Authority have been sold.
On July 20, the RDA’s board approved purchase agreements on two pieces of property: the northern half of Block 7, now a city parking lot, and the so-called “liner site remnant” next to the future Children’s Museum of Eau Claire.
“It’s great to see this project and the area come full circle,” said Aaron White, the city’s economic development manager.
The Block 7 site was purchased by Eau Claire developer Geoff Moeding, who intends to build a five-story building with 111 to 115 apartments, underground parking, and a small amount of commercial space. Moeding was part of some of the first development projects in the neighborhood more than 10 years ago.
The purchase agreement, which was approved by the Eau Claire City Council on Wednesday, July 26, includes a $2.6 million grant to the developer, formally known as Phoenix Parkside II. In exchange, the developer promises the building will have a minimum value of $26 million by January 2025. In addition, 20% of the building’s apartments will be leased at prices attainable by people making 80% of less of the county median income, according to city documents.
The southern half of Block 7 was already sold in May to Menomonie Market Food Co-op, which plans to build a new grocery store there.
Meanwhile, Iowa-based Merge Urban development group has purchased the lot next to the future Children’s Museum. Merge’s plans also include a five-story building, with commercial space on the ground floor and 52 apartments above. Merge is also developing the five-story Andante apartment building which is rising on the other side of North Barstow.
The Merge project still requires City Council approval.