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Apartment building on La Crosse’s southside could put more rental units in commercial space

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A south La Crosse apartment building with some spaces set aside for commercial business may soon become all residential.

The city plan commission Tuesday approved a zoning change for a building at 703 Farnam Street, near Gundersen Health System, to allow for more apartments.

Owners of the Farnam Flats want to convert first-floor space into more apartments. The building was just constructed in the last two years.

City planner Andrea Trane argued at the meeting that commercial space has been hard to rent in that neighborhood. She says another committee has already given the OK on the proposal.

Some critics of the rezoning would like to see a market or restaurant put in the commercial space, to relieve a shortage of food vendors in the neighborhood.

Elaine Yager of the city plan commission said the owners should get the chance to make the space useful.

The full city council, which next meets Jan. 13, also has to approve the rezoning.

The commission also approved a liquor license for the Latino Bar, which will operate in the Scenic Center building on 5th Avenue South.

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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