Wausau Wisconsin


January 16, 2019

Public Open House Held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The City of Wausau held a community open house on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at the Grand Theater to hear what people thought of preliminary redevelopment plans for the East Riverfront District, a former industrial area located just north of downtown along the Wisconsin River.  The City shared concept plans and received feedback from the community.  The open house was scheduled to correspond with the popular Concerts on the Square in order to reach a broad cross section of the public.

The open house included exhibits describing plans for the East Riverfront District with opportunities for the public to offer thoughts, opinions and suggestions to the City.  Project representatives from Stantec, the City's consultant, were on hand to answer questions and help facilitate feedback.

Over 100 people attended the open house and provided their own recommendations as well as feedback on various drawing board concepts.

For those who were unable to attend the open house, the City has established an interactive website with more information about this project.  By using this website, participants can rate a variety of plan layouts, restaurant and patio spaces, entertainment, activities and open space programming ideas.  This forum also allows contributors to make suggestions, leave comments and complete surveys.  

Additional questions can be directed to City Planner Brad Lenz at 715-261-6760.


2011 - 2012

Planning for enhancements to the riverfront has been an on-going process for many years.  The most relevant plans from the past for the east riverfront district are found in the River Edge Master Plan and the North Downtown Area Master Plan.

In 2011, the city purchased 16 acres of land on the east bank of the Wisconsin River south of Bridge Street.  This land makes up a large portion of the East Riverfront District, as outlined in the North Downtown Area Master Plan.  Recommendations in the plan include linking the area to downtown, and following general guidelines for building design and land use.

Community Design Solutions (CDS) from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee's School of Architecture and Urban Planning was engaged in the spring of 2011 to take some of the general recommendations from previous plans and, with input from the community, develop renderings of how the area might look.  The goal was to begin putting a physical form to the area that could be used for further input, planning, and decision-making.

In June of 2011, CDS and the Planning department facilitated a series of design charrettes in downtown Wausau.  A charrette is a collaborative activity during which a group of people organize a response to or generate design solutions for a land use, building design or similar planning or visioning opportunity.  Approximately 80 people from the community participated in the charrettes.

Design Charrette Summary (pdf)

Riverfront Master Plan (pdf)

An open house was held in Wausau in January 2012 to present the master plan and receive input from the community. 

In the spring of 2012, city staff worked on surveying the land and preparing designs from the River Edge Trail to connect the missing segment between Bridge Street and the Barker Stewart Island bicycle/pedestrian bridge.  Staff applied for grants to help prepare the land for public space creation and private developments.