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City council unanimously approves La Crosse Center expansion plan

Drew Kelly

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It was unanimous.

The La Crosse City Council voted 12-0 Thursday night to approve the latest La Crosse Center expansion plan.

Several negotiations and compromises were made in the last two weeks in regards to the latest proposal, which, in part, returned North Hall to its original size of 15,000 square feet.

La Crosse Center director Art Fahey said he’s glad to move on to the next steps.

“This discussion started five years ago,” Fahey said. “Obviously, there were a lot of twists and different paths we took to get here, but I’m glad to move on to schematics and eventually construction.”

Throughout the debate, one point against the project is the value of the building to the community and if it was worth the $42 million cost.

Fahey stressed that the entire city will see economic growth — both from current vendors and new clients.

“Forecasts are saying we’re going to have anywhere from a $6 -7 million incremental impact in the community on an annual business,”
Fahey said. “The hotels, the restaurants, and the entire community will see that difference.”

The council started over last summer, after Mayor Tim Kabat vetoed the previous plan, concerned about the $48 million price and the encroachment into Riverside Park.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Mark

    April 12, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Raising the room tax holds a good chance of loosing everything you are building the addition for. We might consider a 1% restaurant tax.

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