Eau Claire Economic Development Manager Aaron White said the grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a pass-through grant, meaning the city applies for it on behalf of a business and then the awarded funds are passed on to the business, which in this case is Merge Urban Development Group, a real estate company based out of Iowa.
Merge is investing $19 million into the project that is being built at the former railroad parking lot on Farwell Street behind Scooter’s Bar and Galloway Grill.
“Their design’s incorporating elements for micro-retail, which means they can break their commercial space down to very small pieces, which is currently a real driver in our market for downtown for retail spaces. A lot of the projects that are coming to us are looking for spaces to lease under 1,000 square feet, which is hard to find right now currently,” White said.
(Adapted from “Eau Claire receives $250K state grant to help revitalize downtown,” September 2, 2021, WQOW)