Chamber scraps renovation, decides to build new downtown building

2013-10-04T16:43:00Z 2013-10-04T16:44:48Z Chamber scraps renovation, decides to build new downtown buildingBy THE HERALD Chippewa Herald
October 04, 2013 4:43 pm  • 

Renovating the Empire Building has been scrapped in favor of the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce building a new 4,000 square foot facility at the corner of Bridge and Spring streets.

The decision to go with a new building instead of renovating the building that suffered a devastating fire in 2002 was announced Friday.

The chamber’s building committee looked at its options last week and decided a new building would be best, said Michelle Farrow, membership coordinator for the chamber.

The 4,000 square foot size is approximately what would have been available had the first floor of the Empire Building had been renovated, she said.

“The (new) building will be appropriate for the downtown entrance,” Farrow said, adding the chamber will continue working with the city.

Design work has started on the new building. The chamber said the visitor’s center and chamber office will stay open in its current location, 10 S. Bridge St., until a new building is ready.

Copyright 2015 Chippewa Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(15) Comments

  1. Bianca Logan
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    Bianca Logan - May 08, 2015 1:22 am
    Renovation is ever the best decision to have a healthy a new version of the life. these ideas of the renovation are best fit with the superior paper writing service and more the renovation will get the enjoyment and more the new thinking or the style of the living as well.
  2. bluehillsmike
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    bluehillsmike - October 08, 2013 4:13 pm
    Merlin, visit me on L Holcombe! It's sane up here. The C of C is dubious at best. Why doesn't CCDEC get their own building then? CCDEC has to beg for funding every year, not collect it from hotel reciepts if that is the case with C of C. Again, the storefronts look your job first, then reap the reward. This is the result of a 'deal' with the City and County. I'd move my business down to CF if they would TIF me a new building. C of C, I await your response.
  3. CVUSER50
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    CVUSER50 - October 08, 2013 8:05 am
    Do you know what funds the chamber? Taxes. They get somewhere around 80% of all taxes collected from hotels. That means that my taxes are being used to fund a completely Republican organization. My taxes are also being used to buy their old building for half a million dollars to make it a park. My Liberal taxes are paying for Walker ads that are completely misleading on TV now. How does it feel knowing that the Liberals are paying for Walker's re-election process? Is that fair? And why are you claiming that all money comes from successful businesses? Did you know that there are some Liberals who own businesses? As I recall people put down Burke for being a successful business person. How do you think streets are made? Taxes. How is SEH getting their new building? Taxes. How How is the Chamber getting their new building? Taxes. But it's only the Liberals who run business out by taxes? So which way is it, should there be taxes or not?
  4. Merlin
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    Merlin - October 07, 2013 4:34 pm
    This is NOT a partisan issue - it's a matter of them bending the rules to build new buildings.

    When the fire happened, the fire was under investigation as arson - no clue how that turned out. BUT I do know that the city refused to let anyone rebuild on the site because of the flood plain laws on the books.

    Apparently those aren't in effect anymore?

    Outside of that, in my opinion they should not have a choice in the matter and should have to renovate the existing building. It's bad enough that the eye source of a round a bout, SEH, and in the near future, low income housing, will be the gateway to CF.

    Why even have access to Bridge St from the roundabout? For SEH employees? That's about the only reason for the design they went with.

    I am all for keeping up with the times but we don't exactly have "history" like the rest of the world does, we are a very young country - why destroy heritage?
  5. empire 2
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    empire 2 - October 07, 2013 4:07 pm
    Lefty, why wouldn't the chamber be pro republican? If it were up to the Dems business would be run out by taxes and regulations, then they complain we don't have enough money to pay our bills and want to raise the debt ceiling. As usual, liberals can't figure out that ALL money comes from successful business's.
  6. CVUSER50
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    CVUSER50 - October 07, 2013 7:59 am
    This city has many empty buildings in it, and it's not because they are old. But historic buildings are built to last, and it's structurally sound. It will cost more to plow down the building and build a new one. The point is that they want a new building and I can guarantee that was the plan all along. Just think, people come here for the historic presence of the city, and the first thing visitors see when they come to Chippewa Falls now will be a new SEH box building and a new modern looking Chamber of Commerce building. What a great way to introduce people to historic downtown. This is ludicrous. And no, not everything is about money. We can't wait a hundred years for this building to be a point in history. The downtown is failing now. Try telling that to the consignment shop that shut down, and all the others that have left in the past twenty years.
  7. CVUSER50
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    CVUSER50 - October 07, 2013 7:54 am
    A new building will not ease what homeowners pay. My taxes have raised every year for the past five years. Look at the plans, they are building a modern looking building, not in sync with the rest downtown. It will not fit into the historic look.
  8. lefty17
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    lefty17 - October 06, 2013 6:01 pm
    I say nothing but the best for the fund raising wing of the Republican party better known as the US Chamber of Commerce. They are just like the repubs in thinking fixed game bootsstraps capitalism for most, socialism and government handouts for the wealthy.
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    OKOKOKOK - October 05, 2013 5:16 pm
    This building will be a T.I.F. building. In otherwords welfare to the rich, and basically a burden to ALL taxpayers!
  10. Michael
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    Michael - October 05, 2013 3:56 pm
    If I remember correctly, when this was going through a few months ago the city had plans of tearing down the building if no one purchased it or was willing to occupy. A new building will bring in more property tax dollars easing up what homeowners need to pay. As other forms of Government continue raise property taxes the city portion has not been affected with exception of a dollar or two. I am sure when a new building goes up it will cosmetically "fit in". This same argument was raised when Korgers built and it is appealing with the downtown theme.
  11. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - October 05, 2013 3:47 pm
    The downtown has a few cool old buildings in need of repair, it may be that the environmental issues are insurmountable but I think it would be best to favor these older buildings over the boring cookie cutter two story office buildings which have been in vogue for the last decade.
    If I were king, I would offer Loveland $60k for the Plaza and leave the Empire building alone for now. In time the right proposal for the Empire will well up if the Plaza is taken care of.
    Rip the Plaza out by the roots and build a retail down, residential up which generally matches the style of downtown. Go to SEH and demand a deep discount on all engineering work. We gave them a building, they owe us, big!
    Let the chamber lease a portion of the Plaza replacement, no need to buy them a building or over pay for the Hardee's building.
    Let's not forget that great downtowns are alive, have residents, people living downtown, "cool" isn't bought from consultants, it's not for sale at SEH, it's homemade.
  12. bluehillsmike
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    bluehillsmike - October 05, 2013 1:58 pm
    Given the state of the economy, even on our local scale, how can this be justified? Where is the money coming from? The storefronts aren't exactly full.
  13. grow_up
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    grow_up - October 05, 2013 11:35 am
    Yes, agree cf should try to maintain and restore when possible. When it is not financially the best decision... lets use our modern common sense. Lets think like the private sector, or your family should make decisions. Is it in my budget? No. Then what are the alternatives? AND... you can create new that looks historic, that is less expensive and safe. OR arent we also a point in history NOW? Wont what ever we build now be a point in history? Arent soms of our current denizens pillars in the community, especially those supporting this revitalization? Dont you think there were complainers back then saying.... why are you tearing up our logging camps to make a big ugly building? Dont we want to keep the muddy banks that we built this city on?
  14. hollyceann
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    hollyceann - October 05, 2013 9:52 am
    I agree with CVUSER50. When I see pictures of the downtwon area now, I can't recognize anything. Why is the chamber hellbent on destroying our rich Chippewa Valley history? The people who built those buildings in the late 1800s were the pillars of Chippewa Falls. Without them, there would be no Chippewa.

    If you want to see what an historic downtown SHOULD look like, come down to Sanford, FL. Forget the media's version. They did do one thing right - conserve the rich history of their downtown. It's beautiful. It's on Lake Monroe, a wide part of the St. Johns River, and has a river walk, marinas, parks, and places to fish from the river bank.
  15. CVUSER50
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    CVUSER50 - October 05, 2013 8:58 am
    I would hope this means they are not going to tear down the building. The chamber says a new building would be more appropriate? Is this a joke? So people come to downtown Chippewa Falls for the modern aspect of Chippewa Falls? No, they go to downtown for the historic piece of the city. If this is right, they are looking for a battle. I know many people who will fight to keep this building up. We already gave up one historic building to SEH right in the heart of downtown, and now we might give up another? The Tanfastic building was still structurally sound and so is the Empire Building. This is just another sad day in Chippewa Falls if it's true.
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