Answer

While commercial development allows the largest growth of taxes with fewer services needed, these properties are slow to sell and must be balanced with residential growth. We also must consider mixed-use in some of our long-dormant box-store locations, particularly those that are near neighborhoods.

River Point District has the greatest potential as an “and-both” solution to this and it's an exciting time for growth in La Crosse. Plans call for single family housing, multi-family housing, residential, and commercial development. This neighborhood is an extension on the Northside and adjacent to downtown. It is a huge opportunity to increase our tourism, attractions and retail space, but also make sure we are creating and developing desirable housing for all residents to live. 

Some properties, such as the old Kmart building hold high hope for reuse, but it is most likely to attract another retail user, which is outside of the City’s control. 

The former Trane Plant #6 (near Menards) will be developed with apartments and single family homes. This is great growth for the Northside. We’ve seen that once development occurs, surrounding properties begin to improve. The City can incentivize developers in key locations to invest - as they’ve done on the Kmart site - leveraged state and local tools. 

Strong housing and thriving commercial developments are intertwined. It is not an either-or answer. We must encourage both for La Crosse to thrive.