Posted: August 10, 2016 Cannery District Starts to Take Shape
From the pages of News from Downtown Eau Claire
As you sit on the patio of the Brewing Projekt, cold beer in hand, the view leaves something to be desired – a gravel parking lot, neglected industrial buildings and vacant lots. Will Glass, President of the Brewing Projekt, sees something more. “I see a new, different, and exciting part of Downtown. A district that will eventually be a destination similar to what we see today in Phoenix Park. We have an opportunity to do something really cool in an old and run down commercial district that will bring even more focus on Downtown.”
On July 20th the Redevelopment Authority approved terms of an agreement to purchase of the former Silvermine Stone building by the Brewing Projekt. They share the vision of a destination location that brings people from the Chippewa Valley and beyond to the new Cannery District.
For Glass, the location couldn’t be better. “When we first started trying to figure out where the brewery would spend the rest of its life we knew we wanted to be Downtown and we knew we needed lots of space. And it just happened there was this big building sitting across the street next to our greatest Downtown asset - the Chippewa River.”
Plans are continuing to take shape as the Redevelopment Authority spends the coming months working with the City of Eau Claire to plan the rest of the district. All riverfront parcels have been acquired by the Redevelopment Authority, paving the way for a nearly one mile extension of the bike trail, as well as large riverfront park to serve the neighborhood and surrounding areas. They will also be discussing the best way to mix prime residential, commercial and public spaces to create an area that is vibrant and walkable.
As the sun sets on another busy day in Downtown Eau Claire, a crowd begins to gather at the Brewing Projekt. Before long these enthusiasts will be enjoying their beverage with sweeping views of the river and bike trail, surrounded by the hum of construction as Eau Claire’s newest Downtown district takes shape.