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Former Trane Plant site may yet be turned into housing, but building prices have gone up

Brad Williams

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The cost of trying to build more than 100 apartments on a north La Crosse lot has gone up sharply in the last year or two. 

The developers who want to build housing near the rubber mills factory made a pitch for city financial help on Thursday to La Crosse’s economic development commission. 

Marvin Wanders from Stizo Development says the same kind of project just built in Onalaska cost less than this plan might, mainly because of recent increases in the price of lumber and other materials.    

The developers say the stock market and the availability of supplies make the project cost uncertain, but the finished apartment complex could have a value of close to $20 million.        

Tim Kabat was in his first year as mayor in 2013, when he helped announce plans for a vacant lot near the rubber mills where a Trane Company plant used to stand. 

La Crosse planning director Andrea Trane says Kabat has wanted to see the project go forward.   

The Stizo project would include 146 apartments and 14 condos, and possibly senior housing as well.

Stizo announced plans for residential and commercial uses when the lot was purchased, but the developers became busy with other projects.      

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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