Proposed assisted living center gets mixed reviews - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Proposed assisted living center gets mixed reviews

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

A battle over what to do with a piece of vacant property has Stevens Point leaders at odds. The land on the corner of Third Street and Centerpoint Drive was once home to Lullabye Furniture Company. But now, it's empty, and has been for almost 20 years.

"It's time for us to act. Create a relationship and build something," Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson said.

Recently, two different proposals for developing the site were turned down, frustrating Mayor Halverson. He says that's why the city turned to the public for help.

"We wanted folks to chime in on whether they thought this was a good idea, or a bad idea," Halverson said.

Now, there's a third proposal to build an assisted living center with some retail space. The mayor says the project would create dozens of jobs. But, it's received some mixed reviews.

"Personally, and having a history with downtown I would like so see something with a more ambulatory population. Meaning a population that would benefit the downtown," Plan Commissioner Sarah O'Donnell said.

But, Halverson says something has to go up on the property, and it's been vacant too long.

"If the development community gets in their minds that the city is going to say no to everything, we won't get anything done at the site," Halverson says.

But, O'Donnell is confident that the two sides can find a balance.

"I'm not convinced this is the right project. But, I certainly think that with some reworking we'll be able to find the right project to put there," she explains.

While no decision has been made, city leaders say they will review the proposal. The next step is to conduct a study to find out if the project would work for downtown. Those results could come back as early as July.

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