EAU CLAIRE — The City Council is scheduled to decide whether a hotel it is currently suing to shut down should be transformed into apartments instead.
Doug Clark’s plans to turn the Regency Inn and Suites, 1828 S. Hastings Way, into a 53-unit apartment complex will be subject to a public hearing tonight before a vote by the council on Tuesday.
His designs would remodel the building’s interior, turning the hotel rooms into a mix of efficiency, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Existing hotel amenities, such as the pool, hot tub and sauna, would be available to apartment-dwellers.
The exterior would remain mostly the same, except for the addition of balconies and new exterior doors.
Clark’s proposal received the OK from the city’s Plan Commission at its Sept. 20 meeting, where it recommended rezoning the building from commercial use to multi-family residential.
The hotel currently owned an operated by Vidhi Hospitality has been subject to a lawsuit the city filed in December. The city sought the sale or closure of the property due to the disproportionate amount of police responses there in recent years when compared to other Eau Claire hotels.
Also on the agenda for this week’s council meetings:
• Criteria for weighing developer requests from the city’s affordable housing funds will be reviewed on Tuesday.
The city’s Housing Opportunities Commission has been drafting scoring criteria during spring and summer, basing much of their work on established government programs that award housing tax credits.
The criteria for weighing project proposals includes the amount of low-income units they would create; how close they are to bus stops, schools and grocery stores; making units accessible to people with disabilities; rehabilitating old housing; and including energy efficient features.
Eau Claire established its affordable housing fund in 2020 with an initial allocation of $500,000. About $300,000 remains in the fund after the council agreed this summer to provide $192,700 toward a low-income apartment construction project.
• Excessive taxation claims brought by Festival Foods parent company Skogen’s Foodliner against the city could be settled this week. The council will discuss a settlement in closed session tonight before potential terms are brought to a vote Tuesday in open session. The grocery store is among several retailers who have sued the city in recent years with claims their properties in Eau Claire are overassessed, causing their taxes to be too high.
• UW-Eau Claire and North High School are each seeking approval to hold their upcoming homecoming parades. The high school is planning its Oct. 7 parade on the streets inside Carson Park. UW-Eau Claire’s homecoming parade is scheduled for Oct. 16 along a portion of First Avenue.
Memorial High previously received approval from the city to hold its homecoming parade on Oct. 8 in Carson Park.