Several members of the North La Crosse Business Association (NLBA) were instrumental in creating and economic and beautification plan for the Highway 53 corridor on the City of La Crosse's Northside.
As a result, the NLBA is an advocate for the implementation of the plan.
The primary purpose of this Plan is to create a strategy to manage future growth within the corridor in a manner that will foster an attractive destination with strong businesses, vibrant neighborhoods, and beautiful surroundings. The Plan will focus on the strong interrelationship between land use and transportation and a corridor that is safe, comfortable, provides access to the natural amenities offered by the BlackRiver, and is convenient for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.
GOAL#1: Grow and enhance the Corridor as a location for business
GOAL#2: Establish a land use pattern that promotes community.
GOAL#3: Improve all modes of transportation.
GOAL#4: Create an enhanced gateway to the City of La Crosse.
PRINCIPLE #1: Advance Livability through creating connections between neighborhood businesses, recreation, and natural surroundings
PRINCIPLE #2: Diversity of use, buildings, and environment
PRINCIPLE: #3: Promote Neighborhoods through connectivity, memorable gateway, maintain scale and character of neighborhoods. Easy to naviate, create landmarks, destinations, aesthetics and sense of place.
PRINCIPLE #4: Foster sustainability & resiliency by focusing on land use as the influencer on transportation corridors.
The study looks at improvements that can be made, breaking them into pulse nodes, multi-modal, design (landscaping & streetscpaing), and corridor-wide.
It then lists each item based on the following:
(Low, Medium, High)
(City, Business Organizations, Neighborhoods, Developers, Wisconsin DOT)
Plan Implementation Strategy
The group worked with a prioritized project sheet.
The top priority of the group was to implement components of the Uptowne Summit Plan >>. however the Uptown Collective disbanded.
The decided to work on projects that would have the most visual impact.
A CIP request for trash receptacles & Benches was approved in the amount of $114 existed in October 2022. There is another $50k in facade improvements available.
Many hours were spent pursing this because cleaning up this property was determined to be a top priority by the Committee. It was suggested by a former City Council member to use ARPA funds to buy the property out. Vicki made calls. It is a very complicated path to resolving. HISTORY: This property owner is not happy with the City after being moved to this location when the La Crosse Center was built. The current site, along with a portion of Central States Warehouse and the mobile home park are contaminated from back when the CSW building was a manufacturer of mercury gages. LADCO and the DNR were contacted about grants to clean up the site and the monitoring wells . They stated the site needed to be vacant for about two years to qualify. The site is further complicated by an easement for a billboard owned by Mike Collins but maintained by Lamar and it being impossible to get a new/replacement sign along the Great River Road. They have mentioned swapping for another location, however. At one time, the billboard face fell damaging John's roof and who did or didn't pay for that repair. There are disputes between all parties mentioned. The City is denying John a sellers permit until site improvements are made resulting in a lawsuit for restraint of trade. The owner is willing to move if the City will pay him moving costs and an amount believed by the City to be far beyond its value. The owner also wavers between whether he gives the property to his son. The owner does not trust assessors who he believes will under-value the property.
Decisions to Date:
Email from La Crosse Sign: Double sided 72” x 24” 18oz printed banners run around $100.00 ea with customer supplied, print ready artwork. So, looking at around $4000 for them all. Qty: 6 – Livingston to Moore. Qty: 14 – Moore to Palace. Qty: 19 – Palace to George
Vicki did a drive-through of the corridor looking for bench locations. The only places people gather are bus stops, which has their own budget. There group decided that puting benches on sidwalks in front of private proeprty (ex. one by the crosswalk by Kwik Trip) was not something we should do without permission since those properties would have litter accumulating and would have to clear snow around a bench.
The group decided to buy additional benches along the bike route facing the river closest to the Eagle Viewing area. We need Park & Rec approval for this.
The Uptowne Collective will spend approxmiately $7,000 of just under $7500 of their funds on police cameras. Several business owners were asked to submit ideas for improvement. One pointed to the Uptown plan for implementation.
With the new designation of Caledonia Street as a Historic District, a plaque recognizing the streets history wants to be purchased as well as recognizing Mark Jewellers facade improvement as a success of the program and to encourage more use of facade grants.
Much work was put in by neighborhood groups, the NLBA, and Northsiders into making Copeland Park more of a destination. The plans that were created are unrealistically expensive and need a lower-cost version that can then be prioritized in the CIP.