Posted: August 25, 2017 In The Press: CityLab
"But Eau Claire began to reawaken. City officials started cleaning up blighted properties on the waterfront, and in 2003, Royal Credit Union, a local banking outfit that once serviced Uniroyal employees, chose an old industrial site at the rivers’ confluence for its new headquarters. The city quickly built a showcase park on the water across the street. With a gorgeous setting, a Saturday farmers’ market, and a concert series, the aptly named Phoenix Park gave downtown signs of life.
The tipping point came in 2012: Arts advocates, the city, the state, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) joined forces on the $85 million Confluence Arts Center. Previous big projects proposed for downtown had failed to gain approval, but Confluence’s critical mass of partners overcame some mild opposition. When it’s completed next year, across from Phoenix Park, it’ll have two theaters, apartments, retail space, and a pedestrian plaza, along with artist and technical training facilities."