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Riverside North Redevelopment Project
RIVERSIDE NORTH FINAL-18.jpg

Final Charrette Product Schedule
Aug. 14 Steering Committee Receives  Final Draft Document 
Aug. 21 Steering Committee Makes Recommendation to Redevelopment Authority
Aug. 28 RDA Reviews Documents for Council Consideration
Sep. 5 Planning Introduces Legislation to Adopt Plan, etc.
Sep. 29 City Plan Commission Reviews Plan
Sep. 30 Judiciary and Administrative Committee Reviews Plan
Oct. 6 Committee of the Whole Reviews Plan and holds Special Presentation
Oct. 9 RDA Approves/Denies Plan, Common Council Approves/Denies Plan

Request for Qualifications for a Master Developer
View the RFQ Instructions and Conditions

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of La Crosse is opening a competitive process to secure a master developer for the Riverside North Project area. The Redevelopment Authority seeks to partner with a master developer to redevelop approximately 65 acres just north of La Crosse's Historic Downtown. The Redevelopment Authority will select, through this RFQ process, up to three Proposers qualified for further consideration under a subsequent Request for Proposal (RFP) process, which will be aimed toward awarding a development agreement for the eventual sale and redevelopment of the Riverside North site.

The Redevelopment Authority recently completed a master site planning process through a week-long charrette using the National Charette Institute's NCI Charrette System™ and LEED ND® planning process. The outcome of the charrette produced a final community-supported master plan, market analysis and regulating plan. The charrette documents are available on the City's economic development website - grandrivergreatcity.com. A copy of the charrette master site plan is attached as Appendix A.

Site Concept Plan for Riverside North to be Revealed Tuesday Night
Final meeting closes out public process in intensive planning for 65-acre site
View Press Release

The City of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is hosting its last meeting of the Riverside North Redevelopment Planning Charrette. This public meeting will take place Tuesday, May 20th at 7PM in the Weber Center for the Performing Arts, 322 Front Street S. It is the third of three public meetings where the City will present the site concept plan. The City, RDA, and consultant team will illustrate how the final concept plan came about through public input, multiple feedback loops, and grounding in the op-portunities and challenges of the site. The first meeting focused on general ideas and issues, while the second was a presentation of alternatives that would be refined for the final plan.

Based on the final concept plan, the consultant team with the assistance of the City Planning and Development Department and RDA will continue to flesh out the details of the plan over the next few months before the plan and accompanying report goes before the Common Council.

Pre-Charrette Project Brief Summary Presentation Slides (PDF)

Design, Participate, Collaborate
View Charrette Schedule

The Redevelopment Authority will host a public design charrette beginning May 14 to re-imagine the 65-acre riverfront just north of Historic Downtown La Crosse.

Riverside North is intended to embody principles of sustainable design, be realistically developable in the current market, and reflect the values and priorities of key stakeholders and the broader community.

Charrette
First Community Meeting - May 14th, 7pm - 9pm
Weber Center for the Performing Arts, 428 Front Street South

Site Tours - May 13th, 14th & 16th
Meet at the gazebo in the International Gardens

Second Community Meeting - May 17th, 11am - 1pm
Western Technical College, Coleman Center, Room 133b

Final Community Meeting - May 20th, 7pm - 9pm
Weber Center for the Performing Arts, 428 Front Street South

Public welcome at design meetings #1 - 9
Western Technical College, Coleman Center, Room 133b

Discussion Series to Cover Environmental Impact of Redevelopment
Public meeting on ecological systems, conservation, and the Light Imprint Initiative
View Press Release or Flyer

The City of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is hosting a discussion series in preparation for the Riverside North Redevelopment Planning Charrette. This session is the third of three public information meetings in the series. It will take place Thursday, April 24 at 7PM in the Kumm Center at Western Technical College. Ecologist Steven Apfelbaum and planner/architect Tom Low will provide an over-view of the environmental issues related to redevelopment. Apfelbaum will focus on ecological systems and conservation practices while Low will explain the Light Imprint Initiative, a sustainable design strategy of scaling stormwater management within the context of a compact, connected neighborhood. A public discussion will follow where members of the community are invited to share comments and questions with the speakers and City staff.

Steven Apfelbaum, MS, is a Principal Ecologist at Applied Ecological Services, Inc. He has contributed to some of the mostly widely recognized, innovative projects addressing conservation design, land use change, transporta-tion systems, wildlife, storm water, and quality of life. These include award-winning Prairie Crossing (Grayslake, IL) and the Lower Don Lands redevelopment (Toronto, Canada)

Tom Low, AIA & AICP, is the Director at Civic by Design. He has completed over 150 charrettes and has directed projects that have won awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Sierra Club, the National Associa-tion of Homebuilders, and the Environmental Protection Agency for Smart Growth Achievement.

The RDA, City staff, and their consultant team also invite the public to attend the charrette kickoff meeting on Wednesday, May 14th at 7PM in the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. This meeting will begin the charrette process by covering the preliminary information gathering for the planning process and invite your participation throughout the week.

Ecology, Open Space, and Light Imprint Presentation Slides 
(PDF)


Discussion Series to Provide Examples of World-Class Urban Waterfronts
Public meeting intended to inspire ideas for Riverside North Redevelopment 
View Press Release or Flyer

The City of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is hosting a discussion series in preparation for the Riverside North Redevelopment Planning Charrette. This session is the second of three public information meetings in the series. It will take place Thursday, March 27 at 7PM in the Kumm Center at Western Technical College. Urban Designer Ed Freer will offer an array of examples of waterfront development in cities around the world to inspire the design of a world-class waterfront at Riverside North. A public discussion will follow where members of the community are invited to share comments and questions with Freer and City staff. 

Ed Freer, RLA, is a Principal Designer from SmithGroupJRR. He has built a portfolio of award-winning urban designs and community-based plans throughout the U.S. Freer has worked on plans for La Crosse’s Riverside Park, the Port of La Crosse Harbor Waterfront, Dubuque Millwork District, and Milwaukee’s Beer Line “B” Redevelopment Project. He joins a consultant team of SEH, Inc., Thomas Low, Applied Ecological Services, and Maxfield Research Group in aiding the City in developing a master plan for Riverside North. 

The RDA, City staff, and their consultant team also invite the public to attend the next discussion series session on Thursday, April 24th. This session will cover environmental constraints and opportunities at the site.

Waterfront Design Inspiration Presentation Slides (PDF)

February 27th Discussion
The Redevelopment Authority of the City of La Crosse, the City Planning and Development Department and the consultant team of SEH, JJR, Thomas Low, Applied Ecological and Maxfield Research Group are launching the public planning process for the Riverside North Redevelopment Project. This site is commonly known as the “Mobil Oil Site” and consists of approximately 65 acres in the heart of the City.

The first of three public information sessions will be held at Western Technical College’s Kumm Center on February 27th at 7PM. Topics will include Charrette 101, and an overview of the project and site from both the historical and economic perspective.

Charrette 101 Presentation Slides (PDF)

La Crosse History Presentation Slides
(PDF)

Some National Charrette Institute Frequently Asked Question

For more information on the process, check out the National Charrette Institute.

What is a NCI Charrette?

A NCI Charrette is more than a one-day event. It is a multiple-day, collaborative design workshop – the transformational event of the NCI Charrette System™. It harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a feasible plan that represents transformative community change. A NCI charrette is:
  • At least five consecutive days, allowing three design feedback loops
  • An open process that includes all interested parties
  • Focused on producing a feasible plan with minimal rework
  • Please see our NCI Charrette System™ page for a full definition and more details.

When is the right time to use a NCI charrette process?
Charrettes are ideal for projects in which development is imminent, and/or when there is a real developer to implement the results. Charrettes are especially useful for projects that have significant community impact and contentious situations that require conflict resolution. For a charrette to be successful, participants must be prepared and informed about the process, and the information required for a holistic approach must be present. This means ensuring that key stakeholders have agreed to participate and have a shared understanding of the project, the process, and their roles in it. There must be agreement on the nature of the problem and the need to act on it. The information must also be comprehensive. This means all the information that is required for participants to make informed decisions is available and in a form that can be understood by all involved.

Why does a charrette have to last multiple days?
  • Three Feedback Loops. One of the unique traits of the charrette is the series of feedback loops with all relevant stakeholders. Three loops are the minimum required to facilitate a change in participants’ perceptions and positions. Within these three major feedback loops, designs are created based upon a public vision, and presented within hours for further review, critique, and refinement. Five consecutive days are required to accommodate three feedback loops, scheduled at least a day apart. These feedback cycles foster a holistic understanding of complex problems by all participants and form the basis of a plan that reflects all vital viewpoints. It results in true buy-in by everyone involved, who are thereby inspired to support the plan, allowing it to overcome the inevitable challenges on its path to implementation.
  • The Unexpected. Multiple-day charrettes provide time and space to change and accommodate unexpected events that often occur in volatile projects. Charrettes have a way of stirring up things (which is good- you would rather have difficulties arise so they can be dealt with on the spot) and you need to have time to work through new issues.
  • Feasible Design. NCI charrettes produce detailed, feasible plans that require minimal rework. It takes at least five days for a multi-disciplinary team to develop alternative concepts, merge them into a preferred plan and then to detail and test the plan.

Riverside North Redevelopment Community Discussion Series
Please join the La Crosse Redevelopment Authority for a series of community discussions focusing on the Riverside North Redevelopment area, commonly known as the “Mobil Oil Site”.  All sessions will be held at Western Technical College's Kumm Center at 6th Street North and Pine Street.  
 
  • February 27th at 7:00PM
  • March 27th at 7:00PM
  • April 24th at 7:00PM

The first session will provide an overview of the project and site from both a historical and economic perspective, as well as information on the future planning process. 

View Calendar for More Details and Reminders

Press Release - City of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority to Host Riverside North Redevelopment Planning Charrette
View PDF

(LA CROSSE, WIS. – February 17, 2014) The City of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority (RDA); the City Planning and Development Department; and the consultant team of SEH, JJR, Thomas Low, Applied Ecological, and Maxfield Research Group are launching a public planning process for the Riverside North Redevelopment Project.  The Redevelopment Authority will be hosting a series of three public informational sessions leading up to the seven day charrette (May 14-20).  The Redevelopment Authority is encouraging everyone who is interested in the redevelopment of this area to attend and learn more about the City’s efforts to revitalize our community.  

Ed Przytarski (pronounced [Pah-tar-ski]), the Chairman of the Redevelopment Authority exclaimed, "On behalf of the entire Redevelopment Authority, we are very excited to begin the process to redevelop this area; it’s been a long haul through property acquisition and site clean-up. Now we’re ready to make things happen!”  Przytarski remarked that "the Redevelopment Authority, over the last 20 years, has partnered with the City, Downtown Mainstreet, Inc., and numerous developers and companies to successfully redevelop downtown properties including the Market Square Ramp and the Grand River Station Transit and Housing development and many others.  The Redevelopment Authority and a steering committee look forward to having the same wonderful results for the Riverside North Project area."

“This is an exciting time for La Crosse," stated Mayor Tim Kabat. "This is a large, prime piece of property that is ready for development.”

Larry Kirch, Director of Planning and Development added, “The charrette process has been a valuable tool for projects across the county in bringing people together to plan for their community. It will be interesting to see what ideas our citizens have for this property.”

Charrette
A charrette (pronounced [shuh-ret]), often Anglicized to charette or charet and sometimes called a design charrette, is an intense period of design or planning activity."  A multi-day planning charrette is the culmination of several months of project planning, data collection, and meeting with numerous stakeholder groups and the general public, resulting in the creation of a feasible and acceptable development plan for a particular site or project. - Wikipedia  

Project Overview
The RDA will host a design charrette beginning May 14 to reimagine the 65 acre riverfront just north of Historic Downtown La Crosse.  The charrette will be a week-long intensive collaborative design and planning session, culminating in a master reuse plan for the Riverside North site.  The master redevelopment plan is intended to continue, rather than compete with, the City’s downtown revitalization efforts. The City's goal is to  mbody principles of sustainable design, be realistically developable in the current market, and reflect the values and priorities of key stakeholders and the broader community.  

This site has been commonly known as the "Mobil Oil Site," but actually consists of an area of approximately 65 acres in the heart of the City.  The City and RDA purchased several properties over the last forty years including the Exxon-Mobil property (25 acres), the Western Wisconsin Redi Mix Site (8 acres), the Patros Family/Steel Supply Property (11 acres), former railroad right-of-way (5 acres), and a 15 acre pond.   

Public Information Session
The first of three public information sessions held prior to the charrette will be at Western Technical College’s Kumm Center on February 27th at 7PM. Topics will include Charrette 101, and an overview of the project and site from both the historical and economic perspective.

For additional information
Larry Kirch, AICP, Executive Director
Redevelopment Authority of the City of La Crosse
400 La Crosse Street
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
(608) 789-7512