Three projects that would add 360 new rental housing units — a mix of townhomes, working-class apartments and senior living — to Eau Claire are seeking the city’s approval.
Eau Claire’s Plan Commission will review rezoning requests needed for those projects during that group’s 7 p.m. Monday meeting at the Courthouse, and the City Council is scheduled to then cast deciding votes next week.
One of those projects would add apartments to Oxford Avenue in a redevelopment area on the west bank of the Chippewa River that the city deemed the Cannery District.
“Our market study has shown a lack of quality housing units in Eau Claire, at both affordable and market rates. We anticipate that this community will meet those needs,” Tyler Warner, managing member of W Capital Group, wrote in his proposal to the city.
The developer proposes razing a couple older rental homes, which are located between Kwik Trip and the Eau Claire Children’s Theater, and replacing them with three-story apartment buildings.
The project would be in two phases, a 71-unit building followed by another built next to it with 45 to 50 apartments. The first building would have a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, according to W Capital Group’s proposal.
The first building would have 20 percent of its units specifically for low-income residents and at least 85 percent of the second building would be “workforce housing” with rent-restricted rates.
City staff have some qualms with the design though when it comes to vehicles that drive by the site and those that belong to tenants.
The city’s Community Development Department noted the building is planned to stand close to Oxford Avenue, which the city considers a minor arterial street.
“The proposed setbacks are a concern because of the amount of vehicles and the speed at which the vehicles are traveling,” stated a memo from the department.
However, the developer noted that existing buildings in the area are close to the road as well and moving the apartment building farther from the road would impinge on the amount of underground parking. First-floor patios raised 30 inches above the sidewalk next to them will also provide an added buffer between tenants and traffic.
Underground parking is included for the proposal with 66 stalls, but city standards call for an additional 10 stalls to meet requirements for tenant parking.
A housing project planned by Jcap Real Estate will revamp most of a downtown city block with rental houses and vacant business buildings into a five-story apartment building for seniors.
The ground floor would include a 12-unit memory care facility, administrative offices, a fitness center and dining room for residents.
A 4,644-square-foot area for a small grocery store also is included in the plans. The other four stories will be comprised of 120 senior apartments.
A 75-stall underground parking garage would be for residents and there will be a 38-stall surface lot for visitors.
The project would raze three office buildings and two rental homes, but one business currently on the block would still remain.
The third housing proposal would turn a 0.4-acre vacant lot next to the defunct Walter’s Brewery into rental housing.
River Prairie Builders is planning a six-unit townhouse with attached garages at the lot at 318 Elm St.
The local developer is buying the lot from the city, which declared it excess property in May 2017.
Also on the Plan Commission’s agenda for Monday night’s meeting:
• Convenience store chain Casey’s General Store, which recently got approval for a location in Altoona, is seeking Eau Claire’s OK to build a gas station and car wash at the northeast corner of North Clairemont Avenue and Cameron Street where the vacant Tailgates sports bar and an auto repair shop now stand.
• Eau Claire brewery The Brewing Projekt, 1807 Oxford Ave., is seeking approval to add a 33-stall parking lot to its property next to an existing 35-stall lot.