Eau Claire City Hall

Eau Claire City Hall

The city’s Plan Commission took action Monday night to allow two developers to continue with plans to change buildings long home to businesses in the downtown area into apartments.

The commission approved rezoning for one plan and a site plan for the second proposal to allow the two developers to change warehouse and office space into multifamily residential buildings.

Jack Kaiser of Banbury Place told the commission his firm is considering adding residential units to Building 17 at Banbury Place, which currently consists of warehouse and office space.

“We’re just considering looking at multifamily to be a part of that building,” Kaiser said. “We want to get ahead of the game.”

The type of housing that would be built in Building 17 has not been determined, he said.

“We haven’t got that far yet,” Kaiser said. “We just want to see if it’s possible.”

In its application for rezoning, Banbury Place indicated there are no firm plans or timeline for remodeling part of the six-story warehouse building at 800 Wisconsin St.

The city in 1993 created a development plan that Banbury used to transform the shuttered Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. plant into the mix of businesses it is today. The sprawling complex is now home to some industrial companies, numerous small businesses, art studios, offices, a day care and the International Harvester Apartment Homes.

Building 17, which is at the far east end of the complex, was initially planned for office and warehouse space and has so far just been used as a warehouse.

Rezoning approval granted by the Plan Commission now allows Banbury Place to further consider a residential option to Building 17.

The rezoning issue will be considered next week by the Eau Claire City Council. A final site plan for residential development would still have to be approved by the Plan Commission.

The commission also approved a site plan that will allow Pablo Properties to turn part of the six-story U.S. Bank building, 131 S. Barstow St., into apartments.

The bank would remain a tenant on the ground floor of the building, but upper floors currently rented as offices would be turned into 17 apartments.

The landmark building’s art deco architecture would remain intact, but Pablo Properties does intend to add windows to the northwest side of the building.

The commission also rezoned a former Eau Claire fire station at 559 N. Hastings Way so Valley Media Works, which has an agreement to buy the building, can turn it into production studios and offices.

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com