WEDC provided $534,000 toward the redevelopment of the 27-acre Royster-Clark site. The site was developed by Ruedebusch Development in partnership with Stonehouse Development, with new development including apartments aimed at low-income and disabled residents, commercial development and the construction of a library. Veridian Homes is also looking at developing 57 lots of single-family housing as a second phase of the project.
WEDC contributed $2,400 toward the $25,000 planning effort to preserve and find a viable use for the only known Frank Lloyd Wright-designed warehouse structure. Since the plan, a group of citizens has formed a nonprofit to purchase the building and is raising funds to refurbish it. The building is now open for public tours and to host events, and has a first floor gift shop.
WEDC contributed $15,000 toward a $60,000 planning process to address access, visibility, parking and other challenges associated with the dated Nicolet Square property. As a result of the plan, the city was able to address pedestrian access, consolidate dumpsters and improve traffic flow to the property. Encouraged by these improvements, Waseda Farms opened in a long-vacant structure on the site, investing nearly $10 million in site and building improvements and hiring more than 20 full-time employees.
Welcomed into the Connect Communities program in 2014, La Farge has already made strides to formalize its downtown revitalization effort. Beginning with a strategic planning effort facilitated by the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, the community has also created a dedicated nonprofit entity (La Farge Area Progress Association); introduced streetscape elements including banners, holiday lighting and vacant window displays; created a local business brochure; and jumpstarted recreation planning activities. Located near multiple regional recreation attractions and suffering from an underutilized riverfront area in the wake of floodplain demolition, La Farge created a new 15-acre park, raising funds to install a fishing pier and disc golf course. The community is also leveraging local partnerships to support entrepreneurs, fill downtown vacancies and accommodate resident and visitor shopping and dining interests.