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Housing plans reviewed for former naval reserve lot



The old naval reserve site in La Crosse could finally get some housing soon.

The city’s plan commission has okayed the latest proposal to build 10 small houses on the Green Bay Street lot where a reserve center stood for decades.

Groundbreaking could happen early in November but city council member Jessica Olson wants assurances that homeowners will be required to keep the new houses in good shape.

“It’s not just a matter of how it looks and the condition it is when it’s brand new,” Olson said. “You have to consider of 20 years of wear and tear and age.

“You have to consider, in 20 years, some investment buyer’s going to come in and buy these properties, and it’s going to change the whole character of that little neighborhood.”

There is also some concern among city council members about having the houses owned instead of rented as long as possible.

“We never thought 30 years of wear and tear and use and, in some cases, neglect,” Olson said. “It just makes it unattractive for another homebuyer to come along and want to buy the property and fix it back up.”

Olson doesn’t want to see the development become a “problematic little slum,” she said.

City planner Jason Gilman says Spies Construction has been getting “an enormous amount” of interest from potential homebuyers about the naval property.

The 10 proposed homes would be small, with up to 3 bedrooms.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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