Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Aerial Mobil Oil site.

A public community design process in May 2014 left the city with a detailed vision for Riverside North, a 35-acre property between Copeland Avenue and the Mississippi River. But the project is progressing slowly, with the city Redevelopment Authority still in negotiations for a master developer for the site.

The city of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority is still in negotiations for a master developer for Riverside North, despite hopes that it would have an agreement by the end of January.

Jason Gilman mug


The city committee is negotiating with one entity to oversee the development of the former Mobil Oil site, said city planner Jason Gilman after Thursday’s meeting; however, Gilman was unable to share the name of the company, citing advice from the city’s legal department.

“I’m as anxious as anybody to tell the public what we’re going to be working with and what the strategy is,” Gilman said.

The proposed agreement would assign a developer to curate the site, leading the way on continuing market analyses, engineering and infrastructure, and facilitating agreements with subdevelopers as the large development moves forward.

“We have three very, very, very good finalists. All three of them are excellent,” Gilman said.

The group narrowed down their choices last year to three major groups: The Weber Group, Black Cap Halcyon, FJ Brennan and TKWA; Wired Development, Short Elliot Hendrickson and Rinka Chung; and Sherman and Associates, DBS Group, Signet, Kaas Wilson Architects, Ecumen and Propco Capital Trust.

“The reason it hasn’t been made public is because it’s still in negotiations. If we reach impasse with this one, we still have two other master developers to negotiate with that were shortlisted,” Gilman said. “If it becomes public, we lose our ability to negotiate with them. I suppose they feel that they’ve got leverage.”

The city is also still in negotiations for right-of-way for the main entrance into the site, what is now a gravel lot across from the Copeland Avenue Festival Foods.

“When cities acquire right-of-way for streets, there’s typically a negotiation that goes on for private party, so we’re evaluating our options in terms of what that negotiation looks like,” Gilman said.

The city has been in discussions for over a year with the property owner, JRD Ltd.

“It takes a while sometimes, because the landowner also has to evaluate what they’d like for the land, what the advantages are from a tax standpoint and so forth,” Gilman said.

A public community design process in May 2014 left the city with a detailed vision for the 35-acre property between Copeland Avenue and the Mississippi River, which is one of the last significant parcels of land available for development within the city.

“This has been like 20 years in the making and we’re right on the verge,” Gilman said. “It just takes a long time.”


City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

(5) comments


In hope Weber gets it too.

The Mouse of Death

[angry]It would behoove us to give the Trump developers with Don Weber all the corporate welfare they deserve because the TIFs are not corrupt like the Lyin' Ted and the Crooked Hillary. We are indeed bemezzled by the lock-her-up TIF scams to rip off Granny the Property Taxpayer who is behind closed doors with crony capitalists with the graft and with the corruption at the City Hall where the 1% steal the taxpayer's money and Don Weber is not a Sloppy Steve. Sad. Covfefe. Hillary. Kenya. Obamacare. Wall. Norway is a snowhole country.


Anyone want to bet Weber Group gets the contract?

Rick Czeczok

I hope they do. Look at what was downtown before Don, and compare to what it is now.
What have you built? What have you done that is remarkable? Please don't judge unless you wished to be judged.
Whoever gets it, I hope they realize that there is a thirty foot hole filled with concrete to deal with.


Move the Hiawatha Statue over there, and construct a museum for Indigenous Peoples of the coulee region.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.