Market Block Party Celebration Kicks Off Tomorrow

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You’re invited to Celebrate at the Market Block Party

1st St 1918 photo 04All area residents are invited to attend and enjoy the Market Block Party in Downtown Wisconsin Rapids, near the corner of First Street North and Market Street, across from the Wood County Courthouse and Clock Tower. This City and Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce-hosted event takes place tomorrow evening, August 23, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., and then again on Wednesday, August 24, from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and live entertainment by Goats in Trees will add to the festive atmosphere tomorrow night and by Dane Grode on Wednesday.

We will celebrate the clearance and reclamation work that already has been accomplished at the Triangle Block site. It also will be a time to reflect upon the hopes and dreams for redevelopment that will help to re-create and revitalize the Downtown Wisconsin Rapids experience for residents and visitors alike.

IMG_2690Last year, the City bought the buildings previously occupied by Spath Accounting and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/ formerly Brings, and just recently took ownership of the former Good Time Charlie’s Sports Bar. On February 29, City crews started demolishing the former Spath and USDA office buildings. Along with other City and Wood County representatives, I took a ceremonial sledgehammer swing to signify the beginning of the end for these buildings, which were dilapidated and had outlived their useful life. City crews completed cleaning up the Spath and USDA building by mid-April.

Once the former Good Time Charlie’s building has been removed, engineering consultant Robert E. Lee & Associates will perform an environmental assessment.

image1[1]As I noted in my March 11, Community Update, we don’t want to be a landlord, or to have long-term ownership of the site. We want to get it in the hands of private developers who will commit to building a multi-story, mixed-use structure that could contain apartments, condos, offices, retail space and restaurants. We have just began, in earnest, the proposal process to select a qualified developer.

We urge you to share your ideas during the Market Block Party about the future of this location- as any community redevelopment must be representative of our people and aspirations. And to acknowledge the historic significance of the Triangle, we also ask that you send any photographs that capture experiences you have shared at the site to jclark@wirapids.org.

In the meantime, bring your friends, lawn chairs, blankets, and join us at the Market Block Party, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Hope to see all of you there!

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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