By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield aldermen said they will try to find a new development for the existing City Hall Plaza building downtown after the current proposal fell through.
On May 23 the Marshfield Common Council had its first chance to react to Milwaukee-based Gorman & Company withdrawing its proposal to renovate City Hall into downtown apartments.
Alderman Ed Wagner said the city should remain committed to providing another housing option.
“I think there’s a new thing out there with making condominiums out of buildings like this, and there are even some WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) loan programs to help with down payment assistance for low-income people. I think housing is still our best bet,” Wagner said.
Alderman Tom Witzel wanted the city’s options to include any development.
“Not just necessarily residential, but open it wide open. Let’s get anybody in here that’s interested in redeveloping this property, business or otherwise. If we want to lean toward residential, great, but let’s just see what we can get for proposals to start with. It’s going to bring people downtown if it’s business. It’s just going to bring them down during business times, but let’s just get something going,” Witzel said.
Mayor Chris Meyer said time is somewhat of the essence since city government has already agreed to buy Forward Financial Bank’s Sixth Street facility to be the new city hall.
“The last time, we didn’t already have a new building lined up, and we hadn’t already made commitments to a TIF (tax increment finance) district to develop a new building, all of which were contingent upon us having somebody buying this building, so the developer’s a little bit more in the driver’s seat this time. I anticipate we would have several people bidding, recognizing the opportunity here, but the lack of historic preservation credits will likely make it difficult for anything similar to what was proposed last time, but I completely agree: Open it up. Let’s see what ideas are out there,” said Meyer.
Meyer said that city staff would likely come back with a recommendation on how to proceed at the council’s next meeting June 13.